Top US court revives lawsuit by Indian villagers against IFC

Team SoOLEGAL 22 May 2018 10:00am

Top US court revives lawsuit by Indian villagers against IFC

The top U.S. court on Monday agreed to hear a lawsuit by Gujarat villagers against a Washington-DC based International Financial Institution (IFC).

IFC, the financing arm of the World Bank Group provided a $450m loan to a coal-fired Tata Mundra Power Plant project. In the lawsuit, the villagers argued that IFC must be held accountable for the widespread environmental damage it has caused by financing the power plant.

Earlier, the lead plaintiff Budha Ismail Jam along with several other fishermen and farmers filed a suit against the IFC in federal court in Washington in 2015. The suit was filed by the NGO Earth Rights International (ERI) on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Rick Herz, ERI’s Litigation Coordinator while representing the case said, “The IFC failed on all counts with the Tata Mundra project”.

Herz further said, “While the IFC is likely to argue that it is immune from suit, no institution should be above the law in a case where the risks were so obvious from the start, and the failure to act so damaging”.

However, the plaintiffs lost the case before a district court in 2016 and the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2017. Both the courts argued that “IFC is immune from such litigation under the 1945 law”.

The US Supreme court will now hear arguments in the case in its next term, which begins in October. 

Tagged: SC   Gujarat   IFC   World Bank   ERI  
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