On Sep. 11, 2018, Air India Flight 101 was flying from Delhi to JFK. On approach they had multiple failures including two of the radar altimeters and the localizer receiver. They decided to do an LNAV/VNAV approach and were having New York TRACON help them find a diversion airport that met the minima for such an approach. They ended up going to EWR. The approach controllers were aware of the failure of the LOC receiver and that they were unable to use the ILS. But they told them they were clearing them for the ILS to rwy 4R and that they were to fly the LNAV/VNAV instead.
The ceiling was reported at 400 ft. There are no LNAV/VNAV minima for 4R. The LNAV minima is 660 ft. 4L has a LNAV/VNAV minima of 470 feet. Was the ILS the only approach they could legally clear them for due to the reported ceiling? Was it legal for the pilots to fly it with only VNAV? I understand that the fuel situation was taking away their options and they used the best option available. I’m just wondering why ATC decided to give them that particular clearance.
As a side question, why doesn’t 4R have LNAV/VNAV minima?