Citizens' Issues
US court dismisses lawsuit against Modi in Gujarat riots case

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, the Judge said

 

A court in New York has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a rights group for his alleged role in the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. The Court upheld the Obama administration’s stance that Modi enjoys immunity as a sitting head of a foreign government.
 
The US District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York said in the three-page order issued Wednesday that “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 said the court considered arguments made by plaintiffs American Justice Centre (AJC) and “finds them to be without merit” and “unpersuasive.” “The complaint is dismissed,” Torres ruled directing that the case be closed.
 
In the order, Torres cited a US Supreme Court ruling that says courts cannot deny an immunity, which the US government has “seen fit to allow.”
 
“A court ‘must accept the United States’ suggestion that a foreign head of state is immune from suit — even for acts committed prior to assuming office — ‘as a conclusive determination by the political arm of the Government that the continued (exercise of jurisdiction) interferes with the proper conduct of our foreign relations,’” Torres said in the order citing the apex court’s rulings in similar cases.
 
AJC did not respond to a query seeking comment on the ruling. The State Department did not have any immediate comment.
 
“I don’t. I’m happy to check with my colleagues at Justice and see if we’re saying anything,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters in Washington.
 
The court ruling comes as Modi prepares to host President Barack Obama, who will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on 26th January.
 
The lawsuit was filed by New York—based AJC in September last year, just days before Modi arrived in the US on his maiden visit as Prime Minister to attend the UN General Assembly session and for a meeting with Obama in Washington.
 

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Rajnath Singh proposes online FIRs for railway crimes

To deal with the issue of states’ jurisdiction in filing of complaints, the union home minister has proposed online registration of FIR for railway crimes

 

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has mooted a proposal for online registration of first information report (FIRs) for railway crimes to deal with the issue of states’ jurisdiction in the filing of complaints. The Minister also clarified that there is no turf war between Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) although there are “complexities” in that regard which need to be looked into. 
 
“Law and order is primarily the (individual) states’ responsibility. Complaints can be registered online and they can be referred to the state concerned for investigations to be expedited,” Singh said at a conference on railway security where he, however, stressed that there was “no dearth of coordination” in this area.
 
Though the minister noted that there are some complexities involved in the railway security system, he insisted that “there is no turf war between RPF and GRP. (But) some complexities are there which need to be looked into it."
 
Admitting that railways were becoming a soft target for Maoists, Singh said, “We have to ensure security for all modes of transportation. A strategy should be worked out to provide security to all forms of transportation.”
 
RPF is the security wing of the public transporter while GRP is under state government. RPF is empowered to protect railway property whereas GRP is responsible for maintaining law and order on rail premises.
 
There are complaints of non-cooperation from GRP and lack of coordination between RPF, GRP and state police when it comes to securing railway property.
 
“India has a federal structure and there are some complexities; but there is (also) a solution to it. There is a solution to every problem, why can’t there be a solution for this?” said Singh.
 
The conference was attended by the Union Ministers, high- ranking state police and railway officials.

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Saradha Scam: CBI says quizzing Mukul Roy is key to framing charge sheets

According to CBI, quizzing Roy, the former Railway Minister, would help in framing chargesheets against Minister Madan Mitra, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy Bose and others in the Saradha scam

 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday said that interrogating Trinamool Congress' all-India General Secretary Mukul Roy was critical for framing of charge sheets against the key accused who are now under arrest.
 
“We do not want to delay the case inordinately since the probe is in an advanced stage. So we want to interrogate Roy at the earliest so that charge sheets can be framed against the key accused in Saradha Realty case on time,” a CBI official told media.
 
Roy, a former railway minister, was served summons on Monday to appear before the investigating agency by this week but had sought for a 15-day extension for appearance.
 
He would be interrogated for his role in alleged criminal conspiracy for diversion of funds in the Saradha ponzi scam.
 
The source said that after much negotiation with Roy, he had been asked to appear before the CBI by 21 January 2015. “We also told him that we cannot delay,” the source said.
 
He said that quizzing Roy would help in framing charge sheets against Minister Madan Mitra, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy Bose and others in the Saradha Realty case.
 
“If we are not able to file the charge sheet within the stipulated time after their arrests, then these persons will get default bail and we will be blamed unnecessarily,” the source said.
 
“Some things are time bound,” he added.
 

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