Washington: The United
States is still reviewing whether Indian Urban Development
Minister Kamal Nath, who has been summoned by a New York court for
his alleged role in the1984 anti-Sikh riots, can be given
"The immunity question remains under review here at the State
Department, and we have not made any determination at this point,"
the State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley told reporters
Monday when asked about a reported query by the Indian embassy
here in this regard.
Kamal Nath has been summoned Feb 9 by New York's Southern district
court for a pre-trial conference, according to Gurpatwant S Pannun,
Legal Advisor for Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a US based human rights
advocacy group, which filed a civil suit against him last April.
"We are following closely a civil complaint involving Minister
Kamal Nath," Crowley said. "There are - this is still a legal
process that is unfolding. It's unclear whether there's any live
action against Minister Nath and what its content might be."
"I think the plaintiffs have until February 9 to file an amended
complaint," he said.
In April 2010, SFJ along with two individuals filed a law suit
against Kamal Nath in the district court under Alien Tort Claims
Act (ATCA) & Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) asking the Court
to order compensatory and punitive damages against Nath, according
"Alien Tort Claims Act, the law under which trial against Kamal
Nath will be held is specifically created to provide remedy and
forum to victims of genocide to vindicate their complaints," he
The trial against Kamal Nath "is one such opportunity through
which SFJ plans to put on the record of the court evidence related
to genocide of Sikhs and Kamal Nath's role in it," he said.
Plaintiffs have asked for a "jury trial" and will have the right
to call upon survivors and experts on genocide as witnesses to
prove that systematic killing of Sikhs in November 1984 was
genocide as defined in Article 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide,
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)