Indian diplomat's daughter files lawsuit; seeks USD 1.5 mln

Indian diplomat's daughter files lawsuit; seeks USD 1.5 mln

An Indian diplomat's daughter, who was jailed for a day on suspicion of sending obscene emails to her teacher, has filed a lawsuit against the city of New York and her school authorities seeking USD 1.5 million in damages for her wrongful imprisonment and suspension from school.

18-year-old Krittika Biswas, the daughter of Vice-Consul in the Consulate General of India in New York Debashish Biswas, was detained and arrested in February last year on the grounds that she had sent "offensive and sexually threatening" emails to her teachers in Queens's John Browne High School.

Biswas's lawyer Ravi Batra filed the 118-page lawsuit, which has 10 federal counts and 16 New York state counts, in the US District Court Southern District of New York yesterday. The suit seeks at least USD 500,000 in compensatory and a million dollars in punitive damages, in addition to other relief.

The lawsuit is against 11 parties including the city of New York, the city's Department of Education and some of its officials, the principal and teacher concerned of Biswas's school and New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly.

"Hopefully, this lawsuit will aid all 1.1 million students in New York City schools to avoid false criminal charges and illegal suspension by NYC Department of Education when they are actually innocent, while helping commissioner Ray Kelly make NYPD even better," Batra said in an emailed statement to PTI.

The case had garnered significant media attention and India had conveyed its concern to the US authorities over Biswas's arrest and treatment. India's then ambassador Meera Shankar had said the case had been taken up "very seriously" with the US government.

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