A federal court in New York has issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for "shielding and protecting" the leaders of her party who were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in India in 1984.
The summons was issued by the US Eastern District Court of New York after a rights group -- Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) -- and two victims of the riots filed a complaint before it.
Reacting to the development, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in New Delhi that they were not aware of any of these facts.
"Summons issued almost 30 years after the event when the Congress president is on a medical visit is, to put it mildly, astonishing. Undoubtedly, appropriate legal action will be taken," Singhvi said.
According to US laws, the summons needs to be personally served to Gandhi, who is currently in the US for medical treatment, before it can have any legal implications.
In the past the SFJ had led similar unsuccessful efforts against several Indian leaders, including Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and Union Minister Kamal Nath.
In the September 3 class-action lawsuit filed in Eastern District Court of New York, SFJ and the two victims sought compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi for her alleged role in "shielding and protecting" Congress leaders from being prosecuted for their "crimes against humanity."