New York – The US appeals court (Second Circuit Court of Appeals) today heard oral arguments on August 18 in a lawsuit against Congress President Gandhi in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
The lawsuit brought by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) alleges that Gandhi shielded and protected the perpetrators of the anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of former Prime Indian Minister Indira Gandhi.
Gandhi was sued in September 2013 in Brooklyn federal court under Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and Alien Tort Statute (ATS) for 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots.
“The argument occurred before a panel of judicial luminaries: Circuit Judges Cabranes, Raggi and Wesley. Judge Cabranes by his authorship of the Kiobel I decision changed 200 plus years of ATS jurisprudence and by so doing enhanced mutual respect of each nation’s sovereignty in the comity of nations. This serves to protect American citizens, diplomats and officials on foreign soil.
SFJ’s new counsel was most aggressive and launched unbelievable defamatory allegations against Mrs. Gandhi; so much so, that they well exceeded the actual case allegations of “a cover up or shielding after becoming Congress President in 1998” in the original Complaint and the First Amended Complaint – and as a result were factually wrong and illegal. Indeed, the defamatory assertions announced in open court by SFJ’s attorney were recklessly reprehensible and included that “Mrs. Gandhi had personally killed people” as well as “ordered a killing spree” in 1984.
The defamation was exposed as such and divorced from reality, and in fact I used such SFJ defamation as an example of the reputational damage SFJ’s campaign of publicity seeking litigation is causing – as its without limits and operates free of actual facts – hence a disservice to genuine victims of 1984.
I informed the Court that Sikhs in India have well earned a glorious reputation of protecting India and the weak by their bravery and selfless sacrifices, and have achieved the highest respect. In fact, for a long time in many Hindu families the first-born son was made a Sikh.
I went on to explain to the court that SFJ’s litigation tactics such as suing Prime Minister’s Manmohan Singh twice in September 2013 and Prime Minister Modi in 2014 are irritating the foreign relations of the United States-and are an irritant to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Explaining to the court that my client, the Honorable Sonia Gandhi was a housewife in deep shock on October 31, 1984 – when then PM Indira Gandhi was assassinated – and she didn’t do any killings nor ordered any killings. Indeed, the complaint alleged, merely on a speculation-basis, that meetings took place on October 31, 1984 at the Congress party headquarters – but not in her home. Hence, the allegations of her attendance were implausible.
I informed the court that every nation, including United States had domestic disputes that were spontaneous. I cited the tragic death of Eric Garner in New York and the retaliatory killing of two hero police officers in New York: Ramos and Liu. Each nation, I suggested to the court, has issues it has to deal with. India has to deal with the 1984 Sikh Riots, and it has been doing so. Indeed, India had the Justice Nanavati commission just like we, in the United States, had the Chief Justice Earl Warren commission on the JFK assassination.
Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s rule, that one must do right with the right means, here meant that we must win using compassionate means – as there are genuine victims of the 1984 riots.
While SFJ is abusing the victims of those riots with false hope born out of its publicity seeking litigation campaign, we on the other hand feel only compassion for genuine victims.
I argued that under binding Supreme Court precedents, SFJ, as a NY corporation, is not an “alien” – and hence can never be a proper party to bring a lawsuit under the “Alien Tort Statute,” as it isn’t an “alien.” Similarly, since SFJ is a corporation, it is incapable of being tortured or killed and hence can’t sue under Torture Victims Protection Act. SFJ has proven no membership, and doesn’t represent a single victim as it hasn’t been appointed by any Court in USA or India to represent the estate of a single person unlawfully hurt or killed in 1984. That both ATS and TVPA require that a lawsuit be filed within 10 years of the act claimed to violate the law of nations – but 1984 is over 30 years ago – and the lawsuits in US courts are dead-on-arrival and a hoax upon society.
That given the Kiobel II and Mohamad v Palestinian Authority precedents, SFJ is like a man claiming to be pregnant. Ludicrous. Genuine victims of 1984 deserve more than inflammatory false hope – for it victimizes them a second time.
I requested the court’s assistance, to the extent legally possible, to put SFJ out of the false hope and publicity-litigation business – as it was stopping genuine good faith based efforts to seek full measure of relief for every single genuine victim of 1984. The United States took decades to admit that we had wrongfully interned loyal Japanese-Americans in prison camps during WWII. But, finally there was an apology and money damages paid to each victim. Nations must face themselves honestly in the mirror – without impugning the honor of an innocent leader.
The Court reserved decision.
While I honorably discharged my fiduciary duty in open court to fully vindicate the honor of Sonia Gandhi, innocent of any involvement in the shameful and painful Anti Sikh Riots, I was mindful to show by act and deed the compassion that every person of good will owes to every single victim of 1984 – as they are deserving of dignified relief.”