US Federal Court issues summons against Indian PM Modi ahead of his arrival

INDIA MODINew York City: The US Federal Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday issued summons against the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the massacres committed in Gujarat during 2002, when he was chief minister of the Indian state, the American Justice Centre announced.

Modi is expected to arrive in the US on Friday, September 26. The lawsuit has been filed by the American Justice Center (AJC), a non-profit human rights organization established to bring to justice perpetrators of mass violence and genocide. AJC has filed the suit along with two survivors of the horrific and organized violence of Gujarat 2002. The suit has been filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA).

Seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the 28-page complaint charges Modi with committing crimes against humanity, extra-judicial killings, torture and inflicting mental and physical trauma on the victims, mostly from the Muslim community.

AJC also announced a press conference to share details of the case, and the legal path ahead in the survivors’ quest for justice. Details of the press conference are as follows:

WHEN: Friday, September 26, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:  Regency Room, Grand Hyatt New York, 109 E. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, USA (Park Avenue at Grand Central Terminal)

AJC President, Mr. Joseph Whittington Jr., who is the 2nd Ward Alderman of Harvey, Illinois, will address the press conference.

“The Tort Case against Prime Minister Modi is an unequivocal message to human rights abusers everywhere,” said Dr. John Bradley, a Director at the AJC, a veteran activist from the civil rights era. “Time and place and the trappings of power will not be an impediment to justice.”  Dr. Bradley is a known associate of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Alien Tort Claims Act, also known as Alien Tort Statute (ATS), is a US federal law first adopted in 1789 that gives the federal courts jurisdiction to hear lawsuits filed by US residents for acts committed in violation of international law outside the US.