Jalandhar— Claiming that Government of India has denied her permission to disclose her travels which are contained in her passport, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has refused to provide copy of her passport to the US court and has instead given up her plea contesting the personal jurisdiction of the court in a rights violation case filed against her in US.
Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York on March 20 ordered Sonia Gandhi to give copy of her passport “to corroborate her otherwise-unsupported declaration stating that defendant was not in the United States at the time of service” of summons – September 2 to 9, 2013.
“In matters of disclosure of my travels which are contained in the passport document, the Government of India has informed me that they would not permit such a disclosure. However, as I have nothing to hide I voluntarily relinquish the plea of lack of personal jurisdiction. I may add that present submission is without prejudice to the plea of want of jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter,” Sonia Gandhi wrote in her April 5 letter to her counsel Ravi Batra who further submitted it in the court with his representation on April 7.
Sonia Gandhi is facing a [pogrom] violation case filed by US based rights group Sikhs For Justice and two survivors of the massacre.
With this submission in the court the case against Sonia Gandhi has crossed the first barrier of personal jurisdiction as till this submission she has been strongly contesting the claim of the SFJ that she was served the summons while holding that she was not even present in US during the said period.
SFJ has been claiming that on September 09, 2013, it served the summons on her through the hospital and security staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York where Sonia Gandhi.
SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that as per Federal Rules, since defendant Sonia Gandhi had conceded to court’s personal jurisdiction by withdrawing objection to service, the court will move to subject matter jurisdiction to hear the charges of shielding and protecting those responsible for 1984 genocidal attacks under Alien Torts Claim Act (ATCA) and Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA).
However her counsel Ravi Batra in a communique to TOI said, “our filing with the court will serve to expedite the Court’s determination of our pending motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction as well as inter alia, issue an anti-suit injunction against SFJ, who as a corporation, can never legally be a Alien Tort Statute or Torture Victim Protection Act plaintiff.”