US court asks Sonia Gandhi to respond to lawsuit

GandhiCongress President Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)

A US federal court here has given Congress President Sonia Gandhi time till January 2 to respond to charges of "shielding, protecting and rewarding" the perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The court's direction came after rights group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) filed an amended class action complaint early this month against Gandhi, with specific instances of impunity and promotions for Congress leaders and police officials who were allegedly involved in attacks on the Sikh community in November 1984 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

SFJ claimed that it served a summons issued by the court on staff of New York's Sloan-Kettering Hospital where Gandhi reportedly underwent a checkup in September.

The hospital and Gandhi have denied receiving the summons.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, said the lawsuit against Gandhi under the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act of 1992 is aimed at seeking justice for the riot victims.

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