Rights groups to serve US court summons to Badal

New York, USA: A Sikh rights body in US has said that it will use provisions of the Hague Service Treaty to serve the summons of a US court to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in a case accusing him of human rights violation.

The Hague Service Treaty, of which India is a signatory allows service of judicial papers between the signatory countries without diplomatic involvement.

The Sikh for Justice (SFJ) which earlier filed a human rights violation case against Badal along with the Akali Dal (Mann) took this decision after it failed to serve summons to Badal recently.

“We will use Hague Service Convention to serve outstanding Federal summons on Badal in India to make him accountable before Wisconsin Federal court for protecting and commanding a police force responsible for torture and extra judicial killings of Sikhs in the state of Punjab,” said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ.

The Eastern District of Wisconsin has given SFJ until October 24 to serve the summons on CM Badal in human rights violation lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that Badal and the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, throughout their tenure “have actively shielded, protected and promoted the police who were or have been involved in gross human rights violations, extra judicial killings and torture”.

SFJ added that it has retained the services of, Process Forwarding International (PFI), a Washington based company to accomplish service on Badal in India.

“PFI is the official Process Server to “United States Department of Justice” and “US Department of State” and has extensive experience in executing service of process with authority using approved international law methods,” it said.

The rights group added that under the Hague Service treaty, a central authority has been established by the Indian Government for receiving and serving judicial documents from foreign courts as provided under “Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters”.

“Under Article 15 of the Hague Service Convention, a service is considered complete once the copy of summons and complaint is delivered to the Central Authority of India which is responsible to receive judicial documents from foreign courts,” said SFJ.

A similar case against Badal was dismissed by a Wisconsin court last year after SFJ served the summons to another person instead of Badal.

Source: The Hindu

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