Declaring RSS as foreign terrorist organisation: US seeks dismissal of lawsuit by Sikh rights group

New York, April 15: A Sikh rights group had filed a lawsuit to designate RSS as a "foreign terrorist organisation". The federal court in the Southern District of New York issued a summons for US Secretary of State John Kerry to respond to the suit within 60 days.

The US State Department on Wednesday asked a court here to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a Sikh rights group saying it has no standing.

Declaring RSS as foreign terrorist organisation: US seeks dismissal of lawsuit by Sikh rights group.
In an 18-page motion filed Tuesday before judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York, US attorney Preet Bharara said Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) lacks standing to bring such claims.

Even if SFJ had standing, the political question doctrine bars judicial review where the Secretary of State has not designated an organization, it said.

Also read: US lawsuit demands RSS to be declared a 'terror group'

"Neither SFJ nor this Court possesses authority to compel the Secretary to designate an entity as a foreign terrorist organization-a discretionary action that implicates important foreign affairs and national security considerations, and which is entrusted to the political branches," the motion added.

SFJ has filed a lawsuit in the US court to label the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a foreign terrorist organization.

It accuses RSS of "believing in and practicing a fascist ideology and for running a passionate, vicious and violent campaign to turn India into a 'Hindu' nation with a homogeneous religious and cultural identity".

"Political question doctrine cannot trump the fundamental human rights of protection of life and liberty which are embedded in the American constitution," SFJ attorney Gurpatwant S Pannun said.

SFJ will challenge the US Government's bid to block the labelling of RSS as "terror group", he said.

The declaratory lawsuit requests the court that "RSS along with its affiliates and subsidiaries be designated as Foreign Terrorist Organisation...and designate RSS as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity (SDGT)".

Accusing the RSS of targeting minorities, the petition alleged RSS involvement in the "demolition of Babri Masjid", "instigating" army operation in Golden Temple, "burning of Churches and rape of Christian nuns" in 2008 and the Gujarat riots in 2002.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from agencies)

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