New Delhi: A New York court has summoned Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in New Delhi, a report said.
According to the report in an Indian newspaper, the US has refused to offer any diplomatic immunity to the minister. In April 2010, a civil lawsuit was filed in the New York court alleging his involvement in the 1984 riots.
There is no legal case against Kamal Nath in India in connection with the 1984 riots.
Responding to an Indian demarche asking the US to mediate and annul the case, the US State Department said the matter is between Kamal Nath and Sikhs for Justice, an NGO.
“And that it doesn’t have any locus standi and, therefore, can’t intervene,” the report said.
Responding to the report, Kamal Nath told the newspaper, “As far as I know, they (the US) have not rejected it (India’s request), at least not to my knowledge. I have never been charged with any offence here in India in the last 25 years.”
The report adds that an NGO member filed an affidavit in New York claiming she served the summons to the minister outside the consulate. This is contradicted by the lawyers of Nath, who said that summons were never served to the minister since the area was heavily barricaded by New York Police Department because of the presence of large number of Sikhs.
The US has reportedly given assurance to India that it will “clarify” Kamal Nath’s status in case it receives a query from the court regarding the minister.
According to a spokesman for the legal team of the minister, a court-authorised server should have served the summons. A “certificate of default” has been issued against Kamal Nath for not taking note of the summons. “They claim to have served such a notice a day before the mandatory four-month period expired,” Kamal Nath told the paper.