Govt starts internal consultations on joining NY lawsuit

New Delhi: The government has started internal consultations to take a final call on whether to join or not in a New York lawsuit filed by relatives of 26/11 victims suing Pakistan`s spy agency ISI and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed for their involvement in the Mumbai carnage.

Investigators and law officers have been in a huddle to look into various aspects of the case and whether India would be benefited by impleading itself in the lawsuit filed in a federal court in New York.

The officers have also taken note of the testimony of LeT operative David Headley in the trial of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana in a Chicago court that the Pakistani spy agency and its operatives like Major Iqbal and Hafiz Saeed had helped him in laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks.

"Hopefully, a decision on joining the New York lawsuit will be taken within this month," an official said.

In the lawsuit, ISI chief Shuja Pasha and LeT are being sued for the Mumbai attack. It was filed by the close family members of Rabbi Holtzberg and Rivka, who were killed by the terrorists at the Chabad House in Mumbai.

If the New York court is convinced about ISI`s role in 26/11 attack, it will strengthen the case of declaring ISI as terrorist outfit by the US and the UN.

In a recent interview, Pillai had indicated that India could implead itself as a party in the lawsuit against Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISI in a New York court if the government here decides to do so.

"….now if you want to get involved, that is really a political call (because) on the one hand you said that you want to be friends with Pakistan and then you want a case against Pakistan", he has said.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had yesterday that no decision has been taken by the government on its joining the New York lawsuit.

"No decision has been taken. I think there are advantages and disadvantages…No decision has been taken on that," he said.