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US court asks Sikh group to summon Manmohan Singh by June 18

Washington: A US court has asked a Sikh group to serve summons on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by June 18 or face dismissal of a case of alleged violation of human rights during his tenure.

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

"Plaintiffs shall file proof of service on or before June 18, 2014," US District Judge James E. Boasberg said in its April 18 order.

The Washington federal court had issued summons against Manmohan Singh during his September 2013 visit to Washington on a plea by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) accusing him of "funding crimes against humanity perpetrated upon the Sikh community in India".

The SFJ has also accused the Indian Prime Minister of "funding several counter insurgency operations in the state of Punjab during the 1990s resulting in more than hundred thousand Sikhs being tortured and extra judicially killed by the security forces".

To comply with the US Court orders, the rights group will now employ "alternate means" to accomplish the service of outstanding US Court summons on Manmohan Singh, SFJ said.

These include but not limited to "service by publication", "email" or "social media" as provided under Washington DC Rules of Service", legal advisor to SFJ Gurpatwant Singh Pannun stated.

The rules provide that service of summons may be accomplished "by other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by the Court," he said.

The case against Manmohan Singh was filed by SFJ under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA).

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