Barapind v. Government of the Republic of India, No. 14-16983 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, an Indian citizen and a Sikh, sought relief from extradition pursuant to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Plaintiff argued that the United States would violate 22 C.F.R. 95.2(b) if it extradited plaintiff to India because he would “more likely than not” be tortured there, that diplomatic assurances would be insufficient to guarantee that he would not be tortured, and that he would be denied a fair trial in India. The Department and the Indian government exchanged a series of diplomatic notes and, in those notes (“the Understanding”), the Indian government stated that plaintiff would not be tortured. The Department then surrendered plaintiff to the Indian government where he was arrested and subjected to torture. Plaintiff filed suit arguing that the Indian government violated the Understanding when it subjected him to post-extradition torture. The district court dismissed the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court held that the district court did not have jurisdiction over plaintiff's claim because the Indian Government did not waive their sovereign immunity through their diplomatic communications with the United States. The court explained that the Understanding is not an implicit waiver of sovereign immunity by the Indian government. Not only does the Understanding not match any of the three circumstances that ordinarily give rise to an implied waiver, but it also does not demonstrate that India intended the Understanding to be enforceable in United States courts. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.