US Federal Court allows AJC, Gujarat victims to challenge US Government’s “Suggestion of Immunity” to PM Modi

US Federal Court allows AJC, Gujarat victims to challenge US Government’s “Suggestion of Immunity” to PM Modi

October 21, 2014

New York, USA: US Federal Judge Analisa Torres today issued an order asking the American Justice Center (AJC) to file, on behalf of the victims of 2002 Gujarat massacres, their response to the US Government’s suggestion of immunity by November 4, 2014 in the Alien Tort case against PM Modi.

The development comes in the wake of the release of a US State Department letter to the Department of Justice, conveying the request of the Indian government to have the case against PM Modi “dismissed on the basis of his immunity.” The letter was written by Ms. Mary McLeod, a State Department Legal Advisor to Ms. Joyce R. Branda, the Acting Assistant Attorney General, on September 30th, the day Mr. Modi was meeting with President Obama at the White House.

On October 19, Mr. Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York submitted to the court a suggestion of immunity for PM Modi in the human rights violation case.

The political and diplomatic considerations that motivated the US Government’s “Suggestion of Immunity,” are apparent in the State Department letter. “This letter recognizes the particular importance attached by the United States to obtaining the prompt dismissal of the proceedings against Prime Minister Modi in view of the significant foreign policy implications of such an action”, the letter further stated, without making any comment on the merits of the case against PM Modi.

“The ‘Suggestion of Immunity’ filed by Mr. Bharara is not binding on the court. The human rights violations committed by Mr. Modi before becoming Prime Minister and as Chief Minister of Gujarat are not immune. US Federal Court has jurisdiction to hold Mr. Modi accountable under the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victims Protection Act”, stated Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to American Justice Center.

“The selective and arbitrary approach of the US Department of Justice on the issue of immunity to foreign leaders will be the key factor in challenging the immunity to PM Modi,” added Mr. Pannun.

Modi has been widely accused by national and international human rights organizations for presiding over mass violence against Muslims which resulted in the killing of over 2,000 people and included mass rapes against minority women.

The American Justice Center (AJC) is a human rights organization dedicated to holding human rights abusers and perpetrators of mass violence accountable. AJC provides legal aid and support for international judicial redress to victims deprived of legitimate and legal means to justice.



US State Department letter to US Justice Department conveying Government of India’s request to apply immunity for PM Modi:
American Justice Center
54-14 74th street
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Phone/Fax Number: 1(800)-976-9428

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Pannun Law Firm (Attorney & Legal Adviser to Plaintiff)
Gurpatwant S. Pannun
Phone: 718-938-7801
Email: gurpatwant.pannun [at]