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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2740

Madras High Court Dismisses petition demanding India boycott Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka

Chennai, 30 October, (

The Madras High Court yesterday dismissed a petition seeking a direction to External Affairs Ministry to take a decision on the demand that India boycott the next month's Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, saying the matter pertained to foreign policy of the government.

In the absence of any statutory/legal right on the part of the petitioner to compel the MEA to perform legal duties, a writ of mandamus cannot be issued directing the Ministry to consider and dispose of the representation within a stipulated time frame, a bench comprising Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan held, citing Supreme Court orders.

Petitioner Saraswathi Govindaraj, a retired college professor, had submitted that she had made a representation requesting the Central Government to abstain from participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo next month.

In her petition, Saraswathi said Tamils in Sri Lanka were subjected to various forms of harassment, leading to torture and disappearance, and added that India's participation in CHOGM would give a wrong signal/impression that India was actively aiding and abetting human rights violations and abuses.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice RK Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan said: "It touches upon the foreign policy of the government of India, which depends upon many factors governing the welfare and other factors. This court does not have expertise to analyze the same."

Dismissing her petition, the bench further said the matter touched upon the foreign policy of Government of India which depended upon many factors governing the welfare and other aspects and "this court is not having expertise to analyse the same".

The petition was filed at a time when various political parties in the state have been demanding that India boycott the meet in view of alleged rights violations by Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune -

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