American Turban

US civil suit against Kamal Nath dismissed

The US judge presiding over the civil suit launched under US law by the group Sikhs for Justice against Kamal Nath, an Indian politician accused for organizing the anti-Sikh pogroms in November 1984, has dismissed the case on the basis that the summons was  improperly served:

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet found that this was not adequate service and that personal jurisdiction over the defendant was therefore never established.

“Conclusory statements are not sufficient to overcome a defendant’s sworn affidavit that service was improper,” Sweet wrote. “No one handed the summons or complaint to Nath outside of the Indian Consulate.”

The civil suit invoked two federal US laws: the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) of 1789 and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) of 1991 to claim compensatory damages for the victims of the anti-Sikh pogroms in November of 1984, and would have been a landmark case for Sikhs who have been pursuing any kind of justice for decades.

It is widely believed that individuals within the then-ruling Congress Party were behind the massacre of thousands of innocent Sikhs following the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, but to date, justice for the killings has been elusive and no one has been prosecuted.

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