Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NJ Court transcript: Sonia Gandhi will have to come to NJ.

Excerpts from the NJ Court transcript: Sonia Gandhi will have to come to NJ.

It is wonderful to see what the New Jersey Court said. It provides enough justification to have a Commission of Inquiry to investigate Sonia Gandhi (aka Antonia Maino). A remarkable part of the judgement is that Indian Overseas Congress clearly recognized as wholly-owned subsidiary of Sonia's party Indian National Congress Party(of which Antronia Maino is the Chairwoman).

I am sure the Indian justice system -- taking the path of justice shown by the New Jersey Court -- will take up the issues further to unravel and punish for the illegalities perpetrated by this Chairwoman.


Marc Haefner is the attorney for the defendants. Andrew Miller is the attorney for the plaintiff Indian National Overseas Congress Inc.

Mr. Haefner: I query, am I going to be back in this Court when the caterer for the Indian National Overseas Congress Party says oh well, Indian National Overseas Congress, they cancelled all the events that they have scheduled and I had,, I was going to be the one to cater those events, now I can’t because of this ad that ran.

That’s not a crazy hypothetical that I h’ve offered Your Honor, that’s just one more step removed from the claim of defamation that’s being offered here. And it’s not a valid claim of defamation…

Mr. Miller:…What we said in our complaint and what we said in our opposing papers is that we intend to prove something very specific here. We intend to answer the question why was this advertisement published in the New York Times. Why in America…

The Court: You still haven’t answered my question. Why are, why should I allow this case to go on? This is not, you don’t have the right parties here. I don’t think so…

Mr. Miller: Well we do, Your Honor, because we intend to prove, we believe unquestionably that the reason for this advertisement was published was not to attack an entity in India per se but to attack specifically the Indian National Congress Party of America here. It’s operations here, because it was published here. If you want to attack the aspect of the party that’s operating in India you publish there, you know publish there.

Their purpose was to attack the arm of the party, that operates here in the United States and specifically our affidavit from our clients specifically says they achieved that. And they cost them at least $200,000 in lost donations and support to his party because of this. And this is why they did it. They were very successful in doing it, they used the prestige and the power of the New York Times, specifically to go after the parties attempt to generate support in the United States and they achieved there. We intend to prove that. We agree that if at the end of discovery there’s insufficient evidence to prove that that’s what they were doing, some other party should be here. But we are very comfortable and confident that this can and will be done.

The Court: Thank you.

Now this matter comes before the Court on motion by the defendants to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 4:6-2. The plaintiff the Indian National Overseas Congress, hereinafter INOC has filed an action alleging that an advertisement placed in the New York Times on October 6th, 2007 was defamatory and seeks damages.

The plaintiff alleges that the advertisement defames Sonia Gandhi and her son. Now Sonia Gandhi is the Chairwoman of the Indian National Congress Party which appears – and that’s the INCP, which appears to be a political party situated in India, which to me is a separate and distinct entity, different than the plaintiff.

The plaintiff is not mentioned in the advertisement which is alleged to be defamatory. The plaintiff contends that it is a New York domestic not for profit corporation which is wholly owned subsidiary of Mrs. Gandhi’s party, the Indian National Congress Party.

Rule 4:26-1 requires every action instituted in New Jersey to be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. Generally speaking the litigant must have a sufficient stake in the matter with a substantial case. See In Re: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities 200 New Jersey Super 544, (App Div 1985).

An examination of the contents of the alleged libelous statement fails to disclose any reference to the plaintiff. The advertisement attacks Ms. Gandhi personally. There were references to her political party, but that political party is not the plaintiff. It is clear to the Court that the plaintiff has no real interest in the outcome of the case since it is not the one who is being libeled. It is impossible for the Court to determine how references to Ms. Gandhi relate to the plaintiff.

So since the Court has determined that the plaintiff is not the real party of interest, no further analysis is necessary and the complaint will be dismissed…

Mr. Miller: You Honor, I assume that’s without prejudice so that Sonia Gandhi may be brought in as…

The Court: Of course.

Mr. Miller: …a party.

Mr. Haefner: Your Honor, I would think that that dismissal would be with prejudice because now there is no pending plaintiff. Ms. Gandhi is still within the statute of limitations.

The Court: They can bring another action with somebody else. Can’t they bring another action with somebody else. Can’t they bring another -- they can bring another action if they have the right party.

Mr. Haefner: That’s my point, she is still within the statute of limitations. If Ms. Gandhi wants to come to New Jersey to…

The Court: Then she’ll have to.

Mr. Haefner: … she can do that, but there’s no reason to keep this case open.

The Court: No, this case isn’t open. Okay, thank you.

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