Friday 28 October 2016

HC Dismisses Petition Against India's UN Diplomat


The Madras High Court has dismissed a petition which sought to recall Permanent Representative of India to UN Offices in Geneva Dilip Sinha for allegedly disregarding India's stand during voting on a US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged human rights violation in the UN Human Rights Council in March this year.

Justice M Sathyanarayanan dismissed the petition by K Balu of Pasumai Thayagam Foundation who had alleged that Sinha had voted in favour of an adjournment, sought by China and Pakistan, and deletion of para 10 of the resolution even though India had decided to abstain from voting at the 25th session of UNHRC held in Geneva from March 3 to 28 last.

Balu, who participated in the session, submitted the Union Cabinet Ministers had disowned the stand taken by Sinha. Hence, he should be recalled, the petitioner, an advocate, contended.

Justice Sathyanarayanan said India's March 27 explanation at the UNHCR would prima facie indicate that any external investigative mechanism with an open-ended mandate to monitor national processes for protection of human rights in a country was not reflective of the constructive approach of dialogue and co-operation envisaged by UN General Assembly resolution.

The US-sponsored resolution had the potential to hinder the efforts of the country rather than contribute constructively to its efforts and hence inadvertently complicate the situation, the explanation had said.

"In the light of the stand taken by India, this court is of the view that no positive direction can be issued to the Centre to consider the petitioner's representation for taking action against Sinha," the judge said.

When the petitioner has failed to show any legal right to compel the Centre to do so, a direction cannot be issued.

The petitioner assumed that Sinha had acted contrary to India's written explanation but its contents did indicate otherwise, the judge added.

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