Washington DC: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will be on his first official state visit to the United States from June 21 to 24, following an invitation extended by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, will also be part of dinner hosted by the US President and First lady on June 22 to honour the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, at least 17 civil society organisations have expressed displeasure over the US president hosting a dinner for the Indian PM and have urged the US President Joe Biden to cancel the dinner invitation to the Indian PM.

According to a report in the Indian American Muslim Council’s (IAMC) official website a coalition of 17 civil rights organisations, including the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Hindus for Human Rights , Dalit Solidarity Inc., Genocide Watch and others have released an open letter urging President Joe Biden to reconsider his decision to extend a state dinner invitation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, due to the steep decline of democratic values and the continuous violation of human rights against minority communities under his regime.

As per the report, In the letter the organisations voice their apprehensions about the involvement of the Modi administration in fostering Hindu extremist mob violence, hate crimes, and hate speech, with a particular focus on the Muslim and Christian communities. They further underscore the enforcement of biased laws designed to curtail the rights of minority groups, hinder religious conversions and interfaith marriages, and curtail freedom of expression, dissent, and assembly., read the report.

Quoting the letter, the report on the IAMC read as follows, “The invitation to Modi as a state guest signals that the US supports India’s crackdown on fundamental democratic rights and emboldens the Modi administration to intensify its anti-democratic agenda,” the letter stated.

In a press statement, Indian American Muslim Council called PM Modi a champion of “Hindutva, a radical-nazi inspired ideology.” The IAMC also highlighted the gesture of inviting Modi for a dinner as an indication of the United States support towards India’s downslide of democracy.

At the same time, researcher and columnist Ashok Swain took to twitter expressing dismay over dinner invitation by Biden wrote, “Biden talks of promoting democracy, but breaks bread with dictators, who destroy democracies! 17 civil society organisations ask Biden to cancel the dinner invitation to Modi.”

Accordingly, 17 organisations namely, Indian American Muslim Council, Hindus for Human Rights, Dalit Solidarity Inc. , World Without Genocide, Intl Defenders Council , Intl Society for Peace and Justice, Genocide Watch, Jubilee Campaign, Asian Children's Education Fellowship, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR, Misión Vida para las Naciones, Church in the Republic of Uruguay, Global Christian Relief, American Sikh Council, Human Rights and Grassroots Development Society, Intl Commission for Dalit Rights, American Muslim Institute, have signed the letter and have urged the US president to reconsider dinner invitation extended to Indian PM Modi.

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New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has granted bail to a 75-year-old man, who was convicted in a 1983 rape and murder case, while taking note that it took the trial 40 years to conclude.

Noting the "peculiar feature" of the case, the apex court asked the Calcutta High Court to give "out of turn priority" to the disposal of the man's appeal against his conviction.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal said, normally, the top court should not issue a direction to a constitutional court or any other court to fix a schedule to decide a case.

"However, this case has a peculiar feature that the trial has taken forty years to conclude. We, therefore, request the high court to give out of turn priority to the disposal of the appeal in accordance with law," the bench said in its order passed on September 25.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the man challenging the May 17 order of the high court which had rejected his prayer for bail.

While noting that the appellant was the maternal uncle of the victim, the high court had said in view of the material on record and the gravity of the offence, "we do not consider it appropriate to suspend the sentence of the appellant".

In its order, the high court had noted that the case involves brutal rape and murder of a girl who was found strangulated in a room.

The top court, while pronouncing its order, said the incident had taken place in 1983 and there are "reasons and reasons why the trial was delayed".

"The trial came to an end with the order of conviction of the appellant on April 21, 2023. The appellant was throughout on bail. The present age of the appellant is about 75 years. The appeal before the high court has been admitted for final hearing," it said.

The bench said considering the delay in disposal of the trial, the fact that the occurrence was of 1983 and the present age of the appellant, "he deserves to be enlarged on bail, pending the final disposal of the appeal before the high court on appropriate stringent terms and conditions".

Setting aside the May 17 order of the high court, the apex court requested it to fix appropriate stringent terms and conditions on which the appellant shall be enlarged on bail pending the final disposal of his appeal.

After the bench was informed that the appellant is a member of the Bar, it said he was expected to ensure that the apex court's order was scrupulously implemented and appeal is disposed of expeditiously.

"Therefore, we direct that the appellant shall not seek adjournments on any unreasonable grounds and shall cooperate with the high court for early disposal of the appeal," the bench said.

It said if the hearing of the appeal is delayed on account of default on the part of the appellant, it will be open for the state to apply to the high court for cancellation of bail.