Toronto, Canada: As per media reports the right group “Sikhs for Justice” (SFJ) plans on using an international convention to serve summons relating to a defamation case in an Ontario court, upon Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
According to Hindustan Times SFJ filed the defamation case against Singh last year, in which it claimed damages of $1 million and a permanent injunction against publication of any statement that linked it to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
The complaint related to Capt. Amrinder Singh mentioning an “ISI-SFJ nexus” and stated, “The defamatory statements have caused reputational damage to the SFJ’s status as a non-profit organisation and…have hindered its ability to address ongoing issues of significance to Sikh Canadians”, notes in Hindustan Times.
The Ontario Superior Court in Toronto has issued an order to SFJ’s lawyers, Goldblatt Partners, stating that the period for serving the statement of claim against Capt. Amrinder Singh has been extended till October 18.
SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Pannun said their lawyers would use a United Nations convention to serve the necessary papers upon the chief minister: “We have to send it to the ‘Central Authority’ created by India under the Hague Convention and our lawyers will forward the summons and complaint to them in Delhi. And The Hague service is complied with when central authority receives the papers.”
If this central agency accepts the papers, it will then be responsible for serving them upon Capt. Amrinder Singh. A clause in the convention states that India has the option to “refuse to comply therewith only if it deems that compliance would infringe its sovereignty or security”.
However, Pannun argued, “The defamation lawsuit is not against India, its against an individual, Capt Amarinder Singh , so India cannot refuse to comply with the request.”
While the process is considered complete once the papers have been served and a certificate to that effect issued to the party which contacted it, even otherwise SFJ plans on going ahead, as Pannun said, “Once our lawyers send papers to the central authority of India and they receive the papers; our part as per Hague Service is done. We do usually wait for the final response, otherwise we can file the affidavit as per Hague.”, reads a quote in Hinustan Times.
SFJ has targeted Capt. Amrinder Singh in the past, preventing him from undertaking a scheduled visit to Canada last spring, when it filed a private prosecution based on an affidavit of a person allegedly tortured during Singh’s previous tenure as Punjab chief minister.