Universal Jurisdiction is dead- but Civil Society advocates have never fought shy of necrophilia. Which we, on this blog, are totally cool with coz our 401k is totally invested in the online retail of dentures for vaginas and mortuaries are our biggest target market.
I don't know why I just said that.
Sometimes I embarrass myself.
Which is non linear but still a segue to the Federal Court's summons to Sonia Gandhi, currently in the U.S for medical treatment, on a charge of having sheltered some of the guilty men behind the 1984 anti Sikh pogrom. This seems prima facie frivolous because Alien Torts no longer covers crimes on foreign soil and the Torture Victim Protection Act is restricted to persons, not organizations. Clearly, Mrs Gandhi has no personal responsibility for what happened in 1984. However, some justiciable issue might arise relevant to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in a previous case- but the whole thing looks a bit of a stretch.
In any case there is no danger that proper service of the summons will occur as the Indian Embassy will have arranged meticulous security for her. The case against Kamal Nath, it will be remembered, collapsed on the grounds of improper service. Even if proper service is made, the State Dept. will be quick to issue a Statement of Interest for Soniaji, so there really isn't much mileage in this case. Indeed, politically it can only win sympathy for the dynasty- especially given Soniaji's ill health.
Soniaji's would be nemesis is a truly marvelous organization called 'Sikhs for Justice,'.
They believe that Amitabh Bacchan, despite having a Sikh mother, bayed for Sikh blood on Delhi Doordarshan and only this one riot victim noticed coz she happened to be channel surfing to distract herself from the spectacle of everybody else in Delhi horrifically murdering her very numerous family.
This is an argument which has a lot of appeal. Clearly only a truly gifted eye-witness to a TV program- not its videotape or transcript- can convict people of committing genocide live on camera.
Clearly, 'Sikhs for Justice' still have a lot of mileage in terms of going after U.S. based organizations- like Disney & Pixar- which are linked by eye-witness testimony to Congress Party sponsored genocide.
This is not glamorous nor is it viscerally satisfying but, longer term, it may prove invaluable in prodding the Indian Supreme Court, which is jealous of its prerogative, to take suo moto action equivalent to extending the Right to Information over Political parties. In other words, the need to protect exclusive jurisdiction becomes a driver for the Indian Supreme Court to develop an indigenous Alien Torts type body of case law at precisely the time when the Americans are reining in its scope.
This raises the possibility that organizations outside India which raise funds or provide logistical support for illegal actions within the Indian State can be targeted by way of P.I.L. By shifting the focus from individuals, who certainly have extensive First Amendment rights, to organizations whose primary purpose might not be purely expressive in nature, many careerist Civil Society advocates might find that their habitual reckless disregard for the Truth unfeathers their own foul Institutional nests. Those who file nuisance law suits should have nuisance law suits filed against them. Why are Sikhs for Justice not prosecuting Subramaniyam Swamy? He himself admits that he disguised himself as a Sikh to escape Indira Gandhi. If he could do that, what was to stop him disguising himself as Amitabh Bacchan?