Thursday, June 11, 2015

Welcome!US appeals court to hear 1984 case against Sonia Gandhi!What about Modi and Gujarat Genocide! Palash Biswas

Welcome!US appeals court to hear 1984 case against Sonia Gandhi!What about Modi and Gujarat Genocide!

Palash Biswas

Welcome!US appeals court to hear 1984 case against Sonia Gandhi!What about Modi and Gujarat Genocide!

Media reports:A US appeals court will hear oral arguments in August in a lawsuit against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The lawsuit brought by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) alleges that Gandhi shielded and protected the perpetrators of the anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of former Prime Indian Minister Indira Gandhi.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the oral arguments on August 18 on several issues including whether the rights group has associational standing to file the lawsuit.

In June 2014, a federal judge had dismissed the lawsuit against Gandhi ruling that SFJ has no standing to bring the lawsuit and that Gandhi is not liable under the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) for the allegations leveled against her in the lawsuit.

The SFJ and 1984 victims in their appeal invoked the established principle of international law that "those who cover up a crime are just as guilty as the ones who commit it."

SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said victims have been granted refugee status and have a strong connection to US to satisfy the "touch and concern" requirement.

The lawsuit was filed against Gandhi in September 2013 by SFJ and victims of the 1984 riots under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) for allegedly shielding and protecting Congress party leaders who had incited violence against the Sikhs in 1984.

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AAP accuses UPA, NDA of 'protecting' those accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots, 2002 Gujarat riots

Thursday, 4 June 2015 - 9:57pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency

CBI filed a third closure report, containing Verma's claims that Tytler had told him in 2008 that he had met the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which he got a clean chit over his alleged role in an anti-Sikh riots case.

AAP today hit out at the Centre and the previous UPA dispensation, accusing both of trying to "protect" the accused in 1984 anti-Sikh and 2002 Gujarat riots. Both UPA and the current NDA government are not interested in ensuring justice to the victims and arms dealer Abhishek Verma's claims on Congress leader Jagdish Tytler getting clean chit raises further questions, AAP claimed.

"This casts aspersions on the UPA government as to whether it interfered with an independent agency like the CBI in this case. And we, therefore, demand a clarification from the previous dispensation on this," AAP MLA and senior party leader Jarnail Singh told reporters.

The party was reacting after CBI yesterday filed a third closure report, containing Verma's claims that Tytler had told him in 2008 that he had met the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which he got a clean chit over his alleged role in an anti-Sikh riots case. In his statement as a witness recorded by the CBI during a probe, Verma, an accused in the naval war room leak and other cases including cheating and forgery, has said that Tytler had also told him that a deal was struck and a hefty amount was paid to a riots case witness, who had deposed against him.

"The two governments trying to protect riots accused on each side. While the Modi government, which should have tried to bring justice to the 1984 riots victims, is allowing closure of the report. But, why is the Centre trying to protect men like Tytler, because if they do take actions against the accused, then Congress will demand action against the 2002 Godhra riot accused," Jarnail alleged. "The party therefore demands that the clean chit given to Tytler be taken back," he said.

The CBI said in its closure report said that Verma's oral evidence indicated that Tytler might have tried to influence witness Surinder. However, the agency said the fact narrated by Verma could not be verified as Surinder Singh Granthi, the witness, has since expired. Verma is at present lodged in a jail and his statement was recorded by CBI on August 5, 2013.

The party also accused the Centre of "threatening officials" to not allow the Delhi government to function. "After the Delhi Assembly elections, which practically wiped them out from the national capital, now they (BJP-led Centre) are insecure and do not want a democratically elected government to function," party spokesperson Ashutosh alleged. "They are seeking a political revenge. But, we want to tell that Centre's diktat will not work in Delhi, whether it is through LG (Lt Governor) or otherwise," he claimed.

On the issue of a CBI raid yesterday on the BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation premises pointing to alleged irregularities in issuing of birth certificates, the AAP said, "This is all an eyewash."

"This is the reason they do not want to give us full statehood. So, that corrupt municipal bodies can continue to do things at will," Jarnail alleged.

"The fact may not be a new revelation to many but it has finally established the unholy nexus of BJP leaders with touts.... Delhi government has been working from day one of its installation to uproot the politician–tout nexus in the state and it is unfortunate that the biggest stumble block has been the Centre in this initiative," the party claimed.

Meanwhile, AAP leader Dilip Pandey, speaking at the press conference convened at the party's office in Patel Nagar, also posed seven questions to the BJP.

"Does the political leadership of the Modi-led NDA government agree with the MHA bureaucracy's view that Delhi cannot be granted full statehood?" the AAP asked.

It also queried if BJP has "distanced itself from the stand taken by leaders like Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani of the issue of full statehood to Delhi" and what is now the stand of Delhi BJP on the issue of statehood.

US Court Dismisses 'Attempted Genocide' Lawsuit Against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

A U.S. federal court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that had accused him of "attempted genocide" for his alleged role in the 2002 riots in the western Indian state of Gujarat, according to media reports. Over 1,500 people, most of them Muslims, were killed in riots that broke out when the state was under Modi's leadership.

The lawsuit had been filed by the American Justice Center, a human rights group, ahead of Modi's maiden visit to the U.S. in September last year. It alleged that Modi, who then served as the state's chief minister, was responsible for extrajudicial killings, "organized violence, large-scale displacement of members of the Muslim-minority population, and the continuing denial of justice," according to media reports.  

At the time, Indian officials had dismissed the lawsuit as a distraction, calling it "frivolous and malicious."

On Wednesday, New York Judge Analisa Torres dismissed the lawsuit on grounds that Modi, as a sitting head of government, enjoyed "immunity from jurisdiction."

"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," Torres reportedly said.

Modi, who belongs to the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has consistently denied any role in the violence and India's apex court has also cleared him of all charges. However, the U.S. government, believing that Modi did not do enough to prevent the escalation of violence during the riots, had put him under a visa ban in 2005. The ban was only lifted after Modi was formally invited to visit the U.S. by President Barack Obama following BJP's landslide victory in the Indian elections in May last year.

The decision by the New York court comes just days before Obama is scheduled to visit India at Modi's invitation to attend the country's Republic Day celebrations in the capital city of New Delhi on Jan. 26.

US judge throws out 'genocide' lawsuit against Indian prime minister Narendra Modi

US government argued he was entitled to immunity from accusations surrounding anti-muslim riots in 2002 as he is a sitting head of government

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been accused in a lawsuit of

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been accused in a lawsuit of "attempted genocide" over deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002. Judge Analisa Torres threw out the suit. Photograph: Findlay Kember/AFP/Getty Images

Agence France-Presse

Thursday 15 January 2015 03.29 GMT

A US judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against Indian Prime MinisterNarendra Modi that accused him of "attempted genocide" over deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002.

New York judge Analisa Torres threw out the suit on the grounds that Modi is not under her court's jurisdiction after the US government argued he was entitled to immunity as a sitting head of government.

The American Justice Centre, a human rights group, filed the civil suit against Modi in September, accusing him of initiating and condoning the massacre and holding him responsible for the deaths.

The outbreak of anti-Muslim violence left at least 1,000 people dead in 2002 in the western state of Gujarat, where Modi was then chief minister before he was elected prime minister in 2014.

Modi denies any wrongdoing and the Indian courts have cleared him of all charges.

But the failure of his administration to control the violence and his refusal to apologise left a legacy of distrust and suspicion.

The judge's order to close the case came two weeks before US President Barack Obama is to be guest of honour at India's Republic Day celebrations on 26 January.

There was no immediate response from the American Justice Center.

The lawsuit had been filed one day before Modi visited New York and Washington for the first time as Indian leader.

The 28-page complaint claimed that Modi committed crimes against humanity, extra-judicial killings, torture and the infliction of mental and physical trauma on victims, mostly Muslims.

Modi, a Hindu nationalist, was blocked from obtaining a US visa in 2005 over the allegations, which he has always denied.

But Obama gave him to a lavish welcome at the White House in September. At the time officials said the suit would not detract from the determination of both sides to forge closer relations.

The United States and European powers boycotted Modi for more than a decade after the riots, but have largely embraced him after his Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide election victory.

US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with Modi in India on the sidelines of a major trade summit on Sunday, hailing him as a "visionary" poised to transform the Indian economy.

Kerry was criticised at home and in Europe for choosing to remain in India rather than attend a march in Paris with other international leaders condemning attacks in France that killed 17 people.

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