US court asks Sonia Gandhi to show passport

A US court has asked India’s Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi to provide a copy of her passport to show that she was not in the US between September 2 and September 9 last year.

Gandhi had filed a motion in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, seeking dismissal of a human rights violation case against her relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, asserting she had not been served the summons as she was not in the US during that time.

However, holding that Sonia Gandhi’s January 10 declaration is insufficient to prove her absence from US, Judge Brian M. Cogan of Brooklyn Court Thursday asked her to “provide a copy of her passport, showing her most recent entry and exit stamps into and out of the United States.”

“This would appear to obviate both the need for any documents from the hospital-resolving defendant’s medical privacy concerns – and the need to rely upon a third party government agency like Customs and Border Protection”, the order states.

“Whatever form this evidence takes, defendant must provide it by April 7, 2014” Cogan ordered.

In his March 20 order the Judge said “the court cannot find that a sufficient showing of non-presence has been made based on the affirmation without plaintiffs having received some discovery to confirm it”.

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