Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Case of the Day: Singh v. Manjit Singh G.K., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72131 (S.D.N.Y. June 2, 2016)


Plaintiffs are Indian nationals and Sikhs who previously resided in New Delhi before relocating to the United States. They allege that the defendant, head of the local political party in New Delhi, arranged for torture and murder of Sikhs. As a result, the plaintiffs were tortured and their families were murdered. Plaintiffs brought suit under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, and argued that the court had jurisdiction under Alien Tort Statute.

The court found that it had no personal jurisdiction over the defendant. In addition, the court found it had no subject matter jurisdiction over the claims alleged because TVPA does not on its own provide jurisdiction, and ATS was found not to apply extraterritorially under the Supreme Court's recent decision of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S.Ct. 1659 (2013).


This is a straightforward application of Kiobel, once of the most consequential cases from the recent Supreme Court jurisprudence regarding extraterritorial jurisdiction. Because of Kiobel, United States essentially ceased to serve as the world's court of human rights violations.

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