US: Court dismisses $100 million lawsuit filed against PM Modi, Amit Shah

Shweta Tambade

On September 19, 2019, a suit was filed against PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, challenging abrogation of Article 370 and 35 of the Indian Constitution.

The Parliament had carved out two union territories out of Jammu and Kashmir.

It seeks compensation of 100 million dollars from Modi, Shah, and Lt. Gen. Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon.

A US court has dismissed the lawsuit of 100-million dollars filed by the litigants – a separatist Kashmir Khalistan outfit and two associates who failed to appear before it at two scheduled hearings.

The suit was filed before Modi’s ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston, Texas.

Dhillon is currently serving as the Director-General Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff under the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

US District Court Southern District of Texas Judge Frances H Stacy said in his order dated October 6,

“Other than that attempted service,” Kashmir Khalistan Referendum Front “have done nothing to prosecute this case,” and have now failed to appear at two duly set Scheduling Conferences, and recommended that the case be dismissed.

The case was dismissed by Judge Andrew S Hanen of the US District Court in Texas on October 22.

Apart from the Kashmir Khalistan Referendum Front, the other two complainants have not been identified, except the acronyms ‘TFK’ and ‘SMS.’ The suing party was represented by a separatist lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

The Indian Parliament passed legislation last year that changed the status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and modified the provisions that have been a hindrance to economic development, and promoted a sense of separatism.

According to the court records, Kashmir Khalistan Referendum Front was able to serve the summons to Modi, Shah, and Dhillon at the Indian Consulate in Houston on February 18, 2020.

A conference was set by the court for August 2. A second conference was scheduled for October 6.

Judge Stacy said that representatives of the Kashmir Khalistan Referendum Front did not appear for the conference, hence recommended that the lawsuit be dismissed.

Two weeks later, Judge Hanen terminated the case.