US Court Dismisses Case Against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Riots

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US Court Dismisses Case Against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Riots

The lawsuit was filed against Mr Modi on the eve of his visit to the US last year.

New York:  A US court has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failure to control the 2002 Gujarat riots, saying as a sitting head of government he is entitled to immunity.

In dismissing the case filed by human rights group American Justice Centre (AJC) in New York, US District Judge Analisa Torres Wednesday upheld the US Department of State's determination regarding immunity for the PM.

AJC filed the lawsuit against Mr Modi on the eve of his visit to the US last year.

The lawsuit alleged Mr Modi did not do enough to control riots in his home state of Gujarat in 2002 where over 1,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims.  The Supreme Court has cleared Mr Modi of allegations of complicity in the violence.  The US had revoked his visa in 2005, but after Mr Modi was elected in May last year, he was invited to the White House by President Obama.

A "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," she ruled.

The judge dismissed the plaintiffs' argument that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act provided immunity only 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.

The dismissal of the case comes ahead of President Barack Obama's second trip to India to be the chief guest for Republic Day celebrations.



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