NEW YORK: Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has been finally given clean chit by the US court, against the claim that he failed to stop 2002 Gujrat riots, a federal judge in New York ruled on Wednesday. The court said that as a sitting head of government, he is entitled to immunity.
The dismissal of the case came just before Obama’s visit to India to be the chief guest for the Republic Day of India.
While dismissing the case against Modi, the human rights group American Justice Centre (AJC) in New York, Analisa Torres, US district judge upheld the US Department of State’s determination regarding immunity for the Modi. AJC filed this lawsuit against Modi on the eve of his visit to US last year.
The lawsuit said that Modi didn’t do enough to control riots in Gujrat in 2002, where almost 1500 people were killed, amongst which most were Muslims. Indian Supreme Court has cleared allegations against Modi of complicity in the violence. But the US revoked his VISA in 2005, but further when he was elected as the PM of India, US President Barrack Obama invited him to the White House.
“Sitting head of state’s immunity from jurisdiction is based on the Executive Branch’s determination of official immunity without regard to the specific conduct alleged,” AJC said.
The judge said that according to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, immunity is only provided to foreign states and not to individual government officials and Mr Modi was not entitled to common law immunity as the alleged acts took place before he became Prime Minister.
No comments came from Modi’s side on this as a spokesperson for Modi could not be reached immediately outside of business hours in India, and the Indian embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.