A Texas-based federal court has issued a summon notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his visit to United State to address a large Indian-American gathering, “Howdy Modi” at the NRG Stadium. The summon is for government’s decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and alleged human rights abuses aftermath of the decision.
According to Houston Chronicle, lawsuit was filed by two US based Kashmiris. The names are not revealed, but their attorney is identified as Gurpatwant Singh Pannu of Kashmir Khalistan Referendum Front. However, as Modi will be under tight security during his visit, according to The Wire, there is least possibility of Modi to appear in the court. Moreover, it is extremely unlikely that a process server will get near the Indian prime minister.
That is why the second attempt will be made in New York when Modi is scheduled to get an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Pannu’s statement for Houston Chronicle. “He can only escape if he has been granted immunity by the U.S. Department of State,” Pannu told to Houston Chronicl. “Otherwise, the facts and the law are on the side of the victim.”
A 73 page legal document filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 allows civil suits in US courts against foreign officials. This is the second foreign lawsuit against Modi. The first one was for his alleged role in Gujarat riots. Eventually, on January 14, 2015, the US district court for the Southern District of New York had dismissed the lawsuit against Modi. “in light of the determination by the Executive Branch that Prime Minister Modi is entitled to immunity as the sitting head of a foreign government, he is immune from the jurisdiction of this Court in this suit,” according to The Wire.