Sonia Gandhi vs SFJ Date on August 18, Batra Upbeat

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Washington, DC – Ravi Batra, personal attorney for Sonia Gandhi was upbeat on the eve of the day a US appeals court (Second Circuit Court of Appeals) was scheduled to hear 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.

SFJ alleged that they served Gandhi on September 9, 2013 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York. “Gandhi was not so served, and she was not in New York,” said Batra.

In October 2013, at the first court conference presided over by Judge Cogan, at Batra’s objection and argument, the court inquired of plaintiffs’ counsel – which resulted in Batra winning with SFJ’s attorney admitting that the complaint was legally defective as to claims made against Gandhi under TVPA. SFJ’s attorney promised to withdraw such TVPA claims against Gandhi and file their first amended complaint.

“After SFJ filed their First Amended Complaint (FAC) alleging violations of ATS, we moved to dismiss SFJ’s FAC. Plaintiffs opposed our motion. We replied,” Batra continued.

“However, during the motion practice, something very courageous was done by Mrs. Gandhi at my suggestion: in April 2014, Gandhi agreed to waive lack of personal jurisdiction in the lawsuit by submitting to the court’s general jurisdiction – as if she was a New Yorker, when she clearly is not, and as if SFJ had properly served her, when they did not – all because she had nothing to hide and so that the court’s judgment would be on the merits, and not a mere procedural victory for Mrs. Gandhi,” noted Batra.

“We won dismissal from Judge Cogan. SFJ took an appeal to the lofty United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. We opposed such appeal with our 62-page Brief. Last week, SFJ brought on a new lawyer and tried to adjourn the argument date, and with our same-day opposition filed, the honorable Court denied such 11th hour dilatory tactic,” said Batra.

Calling tomorrow August 18 as “the historic argument,” Batra told Indian American Times, “We have won before, and we will win again on the merits – such is my unshakeable faith in the impartial American judiciary.”

“What an honor to argue tomorrow on behalf of Congress President Sonia Gandhi before such an illustrious bench – CJJ Cabranes, Raggi and Wesley – when the core issues of sovereignty and peaceful comity of nations was enhanced by Circuit Judge Cabranes’ historic authorship of Kiobel I decision caused the United States Supreme Court to adopt CJ Cabranes’ Order and undo 200+ years of Alien Tort Claim jurisprudence in its Kiobel II decision.”

“Perhaps, it is destiny that a case involving a near-head of state Sonia Gandhi – who was brave enough to trust my unshakeable faith in the American Justice system and waived personal jurisdictional defects and submitted to the American Federal Court’s personal jurisdiction as if she was a New Yorker lawfully served – that her case is heard by an illustrious panel of judges presided over by industrious and visionary CJ Cabranes – the father of the landmark Kiobel I decision and order,” Batra said praising the American Justice system.

Lambasting the motives of SFJ, Batra said, “I look forward to defending Mrs. Gandhi’s honor in the lofty federal appeals court tomorrow in SFJ’s litigation-assault against any and all in hopes of getting nothing more than media ink and causing victim-abuse.”

“That Mrs. Gandhi will win in Court without any help from the US State Department or US Department of Justice is a joy I get to singularly enjoy as an American lawyer happy to cause justice and peace in the comity of nations, while serving to protect American diplomats and elected officials from retaliatory reciprocity around the world,” added Batra.

On his personal feelings, Batra concluded, “I’ve worked very hard to co-own the judiciary-created jurisprudential nuances as if they were blood in my veins. There is no greater joy for me as a lawyer than to protect an innocent and honorable lady’s honor before a bench of judicial luminaries. SFJ’s publicity-seeking litigation is unworthy of a single Sikh wrongfully injured or killed in the 1984 Riots after the assassination of then-PM Indira Gandhi.”

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