News East West
NEW YORK: A U.S. federal judge has rejected a plea by New York City, the New York Police Department and New York City Department of Education to dismiss a $1.5 million lawsuit slapped on them by an Indian diplomat’s daughter for her arrest in 2011 on false charges of sending obscene e-mails to her teacher.
Krittika Biswas, the 19-year-old daughter of Indian Vice Consul Debashish Biswas in New York, was arrested on Feb 8, 2011, from her school, handcuffed and dumped in a cramped jail to spend 28 hours.
She was falsely accused of sending “offensive and sexually threatening” email to her teacher at John Browne High School in Queens when she was nowhere near the computer. Biswas was also suspended from the school.
The charges against Biswas were dropped after a male classmate was found to be the real culprit.
Seeking $1.5 million damages for her wrongful confinement and suspension from school, Biswas filed a lawsuit against New York City, the New York Police Department and New York City Department of Education last year. But the accused appealed for dismissal of the lawsuit “in its entirety for failure to state a claim” under federal rules.
However, the U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York in its 78-page order upheld Biswas’s lawsuit.
The 118-page lawsuit said Biswas was handcuffed and imprisoned for “for nothing’’ and the investigation on the basis on which she was arrested was a “sham.’’
She was “forced to be processed through the criminal justice system, and spent over 24 hours in jail without being allowed to meet her parents or visited by senior Indian diplomats. All of this occurred, despite her actual innocence as this was a case of mistaken identity.”
Alleging racism, the lawsuit said Biswas was arrested on false charges because of “her race and ethnicity as an Indian of South East Asian descent.’’