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'Sonia Gandhi not to depose in NY in human rights violation case'

January 27, 2014 16:37 IST

Congress party president Sonia Gandhi will not depose in New York in a human rights violation lawsuit filed against her by a Sikh rights group, her attorney has said.

Responding to a demand made by Sikhs For Justice, Gandhi's attorney Ravi Batra told PTI that she will not depose in the case.

SFJ's legal attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun had last week said that the plaintiffs would request a US federal court to make the Congress President depose regarding her presence in the US in September 2013 and on the service of summons on her.

Rejecting SFJ's demand, Batra said it is a "pity" that the group is creating "false public expectations" that the Indian political leader would depose in the human rights violation lawsuit filed against her regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

"SFJ is hopelessly lost in a legal wilderness and cannot comprehend legal principles, including sovereignty, that mandate case-dismissal," Batra said.

SFJ has been given time till February 6 by a federal court to "investigate" whether Gandhi was in the city between September 2 and September 9 last year, and file its opposition to Gandhi's motion to dismiss the human rights violation lawsuit due to insufficient service of summons.

Gandhi has submitted a new declaration on January 13 to the US court in support of her motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

In the declaration, Gandhi states that she has "not been in New York or in the United States during the period of September 03, 2013 through September 09, 2013".

SFJ has said that Gandhi was in the city for medical treatment at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre during September.

The victims are demanding a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi for her role in allegedly shielding and protecting perpetrators of the riots.


Yoshita Singh in New York
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