Former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh continues to enjoy immunity in an alleged human rights violation case filed against him in a US court even though he is no longer the head of the State, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has said.
The DoJ informed the Washington court Thursday in response to a petition filed by the New York-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which argued that since Singh is no longer the Prime Minister, the clause of immunity does not apply to him.
Last September, when Singh visited the US to meet President Barack Obama at the White House, SFJ had filed a case of alleged human rights violations against him.
The court had later issued summons to the PM.
In May, when Singh was still the PM, the DoJ informed the court Singh enjoyed immunity as the head of State.
After May 16, the SFJ argued that Singh no longer enjoys immunity. The court had given DoJ time till July 10 to respond.
“Because the executive branch has determined that the defendant Singh is immune from this suit, and has not withdrawn its assertion of immunity, the US respectfully submits that Singh is immune in this action,” the DoJ said in its submission to the court. “Singh’s departure from the office of PM during the pendency of this litigation does not render ineffective the executive branch’s assertion of immunity,” it said.