Policing The Global Cops
Subordinate nations will always view international criminal courts as instruments that pose a threat to their sovereignty.
illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
By endorsing the VHP’s Gujarat bandh on February 28, and consciously avoiding the preventive detention of its cadres to guard against communal riots, Narendra Modi undoubtedly abetted the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians in the state. But this does not justify the attempt being made in a British court to declare Modi a state terrorist, and issue an arrest warrant against him, should he ever enter the UK. This is not an issue of culpability, but of law and sovereignty. The ‘crime’ was committed in the state of Gujarat, in a country called India. Gujarat has a high court, and India a supreme court. But the accusers, who lost relatives who were British citizens, have not approached either for legal reparations. Instead, they have gone to their own judiciary in a totally different country. The least one should expect of the British judicial system is that it asks them to exhaust all possible means of redress in India before they approach it. But in the prevailing international climate, this may be too much to ask for.
The precedent that the plaintiffs are relying...