A12 US NEWS India Abroad January 10, 2014
In a letter produced before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
Congress party President Sonia Gandhi
denied she was in New York September
2 through September 9, 2013.
‘I was not in New York during the relevant period. I was not served the
Summons and Complaint on September
9, 2013, as claimed, or on any other
date,’ the letter signed by Gandhi,
December 28, noted.
It was addressed to her attorney Ravi
Batra in New York.
The letter was produced in response to
an amended complaint by Sikhs for
Justice, which accused Gandhi of shielding, protecting and rewarding the perpetrators of 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The
court had asked Gandhi to respond to
the summons by January 2.
During her purported visit to the US
in September last year, a class action
lawsuit was filed against her by Sikhs
For Justice, along with other victims,
seeking compensatory and punitive
damages for her role in allegedly shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Sajjan
Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and some other
Congress party leaders.
September 9, acting on information
that the Congress president was undergoing a medical checkup at Sloan-Kettering Memorial in New York, the
SFJ served the Summons and
Complaint on hospital staff, asking
them to give it to Gandhi, said SFJ attorney Gurpatwant
“Gandhi wasn’t served with legal process, as required by
Judge Brian M Cogan’s alternate-service order, because
plaintiffs were wrong in telling the court that she was in a
New York hospital when she wasn’t,” Batra said.
Through a motion to dismiss the suit filed by Batra,
Gandhi challenged the US court jurisdiction to hear the
rights violation case.
“Judge Cogan will have to decide issues of personal and
subject matter jurisdiction, along with the plaintiffs’ liti-
gation-happy modus operandi better suited for wild goose
chases,” Batra said.
The motion further sought ‘enjoining Sikhs For Justice
from filing any lawsuit or otherwise pursuing these claims
or any other claims stemming from or related to allega-
tions of conduct in India in 1984, post the assassination of
then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her security person-
nel without first having secured the express written con-
sent of the court.’
Batra also asked that any opposition by the plaintiffs
must be filed and served on or before January 23 and the
defendant’s reply would be filed and served on or before
The family of an Indian origin man, shot by a police officer in Baker- sfield, California, say they called
the police to prevent him from harming
himself. But the police killed him, thinking he was going to shoot at them.
According to a press statement issued
by the Bakersfield police department,
December 29, officers responded to a
call related to a domestic violence incident.
As they approached the scene, an
armed man, Jaspal Singh, confronted
According to the police, he pointed his
firearm at them. One of the officers fired
his duty weapon, at Singh, 45, who fell to
the ground. He was transported to hospital, where he succumbed to his
“Singh had illegal narcotics at the time
of the incident. This is an officer-involved shooting and is under investigation like other cases.” Sergeant Joe
Grubbs, public information officer,
Bakersfield police department, told
Singh’s wife Mandeep Kaur told this
correspondent that “the police shot him
five times in the chest.”
“I saw a gun in his hand. He was into
drugs, so I called the cops to help and
not to kill him,” she said.
Kaur added that they were Punjab
natives and naturalized US citizens. Her
husband had been a truck driver, but
was out of a job for the last few months.
Speaking about the fateful day when
her husband was shot, Kaur said she was
unaware that he possessed a gun.
“He suddenly took out a gun and said
he would shoot himself, so I called the
police,” she added. “He pointed the gun
at himself and not at the officers, but
they shot him.”
Regina Mancera, deputy, Kern County
coroner’s office, told India Abroad that
of suit in 1984 riots case
A Sikh demonstrator during a protest outside Congress party President Sonia Gandhi’s home in New Delhi, May 2, 2013.
MANSI THAPLI YAL/REUTERS