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    USD10,000 reward for serving summons to Modi

    September 29, 2014

    The organisation behind a lawsuit filed against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered a reward of $10,000 to anyone who could serve him with the summons issued by a federal district court and capture the service on video, sparking concerns that there could be a security incident during Modi’s historic five-day visit to the U.S, according to a news report published by The Hindu said yesterday.

    The Hindu report filed from New York said: In a statement, the American Justice Centre (AJC) said that the award for serving Modi was announced "due to the fact that the PM’s visit will only last 5 days and will include a packed schedule of meetings and speeches. Servers are expected to produce a video of the serving to be eligible for the award."

    On Thursday human rights group AJC filed a 28-page complaint against Mr. Modi on behalf of multiple plaintiffs who hailed from Gujarat and suffered serious injury or the death or injury of a family member, alleging that Modi was culpable for his role in presiding over the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in the state.

    The same day the federal court in the Southern District of New York issued summons to Modi to answer the plaintiffs within 21 days or face a "default judgment," which could include categorisation of the 2002 riots as a "genocide" and potential compensation to the plaintiffs.

    On Friday morning, during a White House briefing regarding bilateral prospects coming out of the summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, a senior administration official clarified that the summons could not be delivered to him while he was in the U.S. or attending the United Nations General Assembly, as he was immune from prosecution, and "Sitting Heads of Government also enjoy personal inviolability while in the U.S., which means they cannot be personally handed or delivered papers… to begin the process of a lawsuit."

    However, answering this argument the AJC counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said, "(As) Per the precedence established in the case of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the immunity extends only to acts committed during the individual’s tenure as Head of State. Our case against Modi is related to his complicity in the Gujarat pogroms of 2002, when he was Chief Minister of the state."

    In the cases brought against Dr. Singh, allegations made against him that after 2004, he shielded Jagdish Tytler and others linked to the 1984 riots were not entertained by the U.S. court as he was deemed to be immune from prosecution given the fact that he was the Head of the Government at the time. (Special Reporter/SDF)

    Last modified on Monday, 29 September 2014 10:14

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