US Court Dismisses 1984 Massacre Of Sikhs Case Against Congress

NEW YORK – A federal appeals court has dismissed a 1984 Sikh rights violation case filed against the Congress by a rights group, saying the case does not sufficiently “touch and concern” the US.

A three-judge panel of the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the case, dismissing charges levelled by rights group Sikhs for Justice that the Congress was responsible for the killings and the riots that followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The panel ruled that “even assuming that, as plaintiffs allege, Congress leader Kamal Nath carried out or was responsible for acts of violence against Sikhs, those acts were taken by Indian nationals against other Indian nationals in India. Under the presumption against extraterritoriality, we lack jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ claims.”

“Because all of the conduct relevant to the alleged ATS (Alien Torts Statute) violations occurred abroad, defendants’ alleged presence in the US is insufficient to displace the presumption against extraterritoriality and to establish jurisdiction under the ATS,” the appeals court said.

SFJ legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that the group will re-litigate the case. Welcoming the ruling of the court, Congress party’s attorney Ravi Batra said the SFJ should accept that its “lawsuit campaign is wrong.”

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