Washington: India has sought diplomatic
immunity from the US for Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath
against whom summons have been issued by a US court on a
lawsuit alleging his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Sources in the Indian Embassy here said a demarche was
made out to the State Department for granting diplomatic
immunity to minister following the case filed against him by
an NGO, Sikhs for Justice, in April last year.
Some reports said the US was disinclined to grant
diplomatic immunity to Kamal Nath on the ground that they
would not like to step in a matter between an NGO and him but
Indian officials did not confirm it.
The issue is "still under examination" of the American
government, sources said.
Kamal Nath was quoted as saying, "As far as I know, the
US has not rejected it (India`s request), at least not to my
knowledge. I have never been charged with any offence here in
India in the last 25 years."
The minister`s lawyers denied that he has been served
summons in the case as claimed by a member of the NGO.
They contended that 740 cases were filed in India
relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and Kamal Nath`s name did
not figure in any of them.
"Discussions are underway between the Indian Embassy
and the US authorities on the issue (diplomatic immunity),"