Badal contests rights group's claim in US court

 Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal through his attorney in a US court has contested the claims of a Sikh rights group that he was served summons in a case related to alleged human rights violations.

During a marathon hearing held in a US court in Wisconsin, Biskupic and Jacobs — the attorneys representing Badal — produced witnesses to buttress their assertion that the Punjab CM was shopping and was not present at the Oak Creek High School when the New York-based “Sikhs for Justice” claims to have presented him with the court summons.

Badal was in Wisconsin for the wedding of daughter of Darshan Singh Dhaliwal in August 2012 when “Sikhs for Justice” filed a human rights violations lawsuit against him under Alien Torts Claims Act and Torture Victims Protection Act in the Federal District Court of Wisconsin.

The human rights violation case against Badal has been filed by Sikh for Justice and the SAD (Amritsar). Surinderpal Singh Kalra, a Chicago-based Sikh, testified that “on February 19, 2013 papers were handed over to him and not to Badal.

But, he could not explain when cross examined by rights group’s attorneys that “what made him come forward after six months of silence.” Special agents from diplomatic security service of the US department said Badal was “shopping” at Boelter Super Store from 4.49 pm to 5.09 pm while the process server testified that he “served Badal” at 4.50 pm at Oak Creek High School where a ceremony was being held in honor of Sikh victims of Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting.

Judge granted the rights gourp time till April 5, to probe the evidence, and submit memorandum of law to the court.

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