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US federal judge recuses himself from Badal case

January 17, 2013 12:42 IST

A US federal judge has decided to recuse himself from a human rights case in which Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is involved. The case is to come up for hearing on February 21.

According to information available, Judge Randa unexpectedly recused himself from presiding over the human rights violation case against Badal, citing pursuant to rules linked with 28 USC 455(a) and (b).

Badal is facing the lawsuit in the US Federal Court filed under the Alien Torts Claims Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act.

He has been charged with custodial torture and for shielding police officers responsible for torture, extra judicial killings and continuous human rights violations against the Sikh community in Punjab.

Judge Lynn Adelman of the US Federal District Court of Wisconsin held a preliminary status conference on January 14 with attorneys from both sides.

Attorneys representing Badal had earlier sought the dismissal of the human rights violation case due to lack of service based on the sworn statements of special agents from the Diplomatic Security Service of US Department of State, claiming that Badal was not present at Oak Creek High School at the time of a memorial service on August 9, 2012 shooting incident.

After hearing the arguments of attorneys representing 'Sikhs For Justice" (SFJ) and Badal, Judge Adelman set February 21 as the next date of hearing of the case.

According to Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the legal advisor to the SFJ, plaintiffs will present evidence and witnesses to show that on August 9, Badal was personally served a summons by Christopher G. Kratochvil, a professional process server from "State Processing Service Inc." at Oak Creek High School, Wisconsin.

The Special Agents from US Department of State will state that it is inherently implausible for Badal to claim that on August 9, he was actually busy shopping, and therefore, absented himself from a national event organized in the memory of Sikh victims of Oak Creek Gurudwara shooting.


Source: ANI