New York, United States: The US Department of State has weighed in favor of CM Badal in the pending human rights violation lawsuit before the Federal Court of Wisconsin. The Special agents from the Diplomatic Security Service of the US Department of State have submitted sworn statements to the US court claiming that Badal was not served with the summons. This unprecedented move of the US Department of State has undermined the prospects of Badal being answerable before the US Court for commanding a police force that tortured Sikhs in Punjab. Earlier, US State Department has given immunity to Pakistan’s ISI and its chiefs Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj in a lawsuit filed by the relatives of Mumbai 26/11 tragedy.
Rights group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has released copies of the sworn statements of the US State Departments Special Agents O’Toole and Scharlat that have been submitted to the US Court which allege that “at 4:50 PM on August 09, CM Badal was at Boelter Super Store in Milwaukee and was not at Oak Creek High School in Oak Creek, Wisconsin”. The Special Agents O’Toole and Scharlat were part of the CM Badal’s security detail during his August 2012 visit to the US.
Attorney Michelle Jacobs of the Michael Best and Friedrich, LLP, in support of motion to dismiss the lawsuit against CM Badal stated that since “the defendant has presented clear and convincing evidence that Badal was not served so the case should be dismissed for invalid service.”
Determined to continue with the prosecution of CM Badal for commanding a police force that violated human rights of Sikhs in India, rights group has also served CM Badal with the summons of the US Court through Hague Service Convention of 1967. On November 09, 2012, Sikh Rights group through “Process Forwarding International (PFI)” an official Process Server to “United States Department of Justice” has delivered the US Federal court summons issued against Badal to the Central Authority of India as required under the Hague Convention.
Central Authority of India has been established by Government of India for receiving and serving judicial documents from foreign courts pursuant to Hague Convention on Service Abroad of 1965 which has been signed by India and United States. Under Article 15 of the Hague Convention service is considered complete once copy of Summons and Complaint is delivered to the Central Authority.
According to attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), Since the prosecution of CM Badal depends upon the service of the summons of the US Court and same has been challenged by the CM Badal with the help of US Department of State, plaintiffs have requested the court to subpoena Badal so that he could be cross examined and identified in the court by the plaintiffs’ process server who served CM Badal on August 09 at Oak Creek High School.
Plaintiffs Jeet Singh, Gurdeep Kaur and Jagtar Singh of SAD (Amritsar) have approached US Federal Judge Randa with the documentary evidence of mistreatment of their family members in India by the Badal administration pressurizing them to withdraw the human rights violations case against CM Badal. Ever since the filing of human rights violation lawsuit against CM Badal in US Court, Badal regime under the directions of its Home Minister Sukhbir Badal has unleashed a reign of terror and intimidation against the family members of plaintiffs living in India.
The recent incidents of torture of SAD (Amritsar) activists by the Badal regime paves the way for the plaintiffs to include the name of Sukhbir Badal, Home Minister of the Sate as additional defendant in the pending human rights violation case in the US Court added attorney Pannun.