These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Photoshot Diplomatic immunity puts officials from overseas above the law of the country in which they live. Is the system open to abuse? Imagine breaking the law and no-one can stop you.
Share via Email This article is over 4 years old Devyani Khobragade has left the US after her diplomatic immunity was confirmed, allowing her to sidestep fraud charges in New York. Though John Kerry, the US secretary of state, expressed regret shortly after the incident, this fell short of the apology demanded by Indians.
However hours after a grand jury in New York indicted Khobragade for visa fraud and making multiple false statements, and with a court appearance due next week, a series of dramatic last-minute developments saw the US first grant a crucial visa confirming full immunity to the diplomat, then ask India to waive that immunity and finally ask the year-old to leave the country.
Indian official sources said they Devyani khobragade applied for the visa, normally a formality, about three weeks ago. An Indian official in Delhi said: Today Devyani khobragade are focused on bringing her back and then we will decide.
If found guilty she would have faced up to a year jail sentence.
Indian authorities had shifted Khobragade to their mission at the UN after her arrest, a move that should have guaranteed full diplomatic immunity rather than the limited immunity that comes with a consular post. However without the crucial visa from US authorities the possibility remained that Khobragade could still have been open to prosecution.
Her husband is a US citizen. It does not appear that this demand has been met. While both New Delhi and Washington stressed the importance of their bilateral relationship during the crisis, it took weeks of complex wrangling to find a workable solution both sides could live with.
Earlier this week Indian authorities ordered the US embassy to close a club for expatriate Americans there. A trip to India next week by the US energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, was postponed around the same time.
The US assistant secretary of state for south Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, delayed her first visit to the country to avoid the trip becoming embroiled in the dispute. The treatment of Khobragade — who was briefly detained with other criminal defendants and strip-searched — caused particular anger.
We are a country of a billion people with a reputation for being independent in our world view but we believe in our relationship with the US and that is why we are genuinely shocked," one Indian official said earlier this week.
Relations between the US and India have long been rocky, though steadily improving since a nadir in the s. Barack Obama received a warm welcome on his visit in when he described the two countries shared interests as the foundations of "a defining partnership for the 21st century".
However there remains deep suspicion of Washington in Delhi, and in India more generally, and many US officials see India as a difficult partner. Critics accuse Obama of failing to pay sufficient attention to ties with a country viewed as a key strategic counterbalance to China and an engine to boost the US economy, while American hopes of building a more robust business relationship with India have run into bureaucratic hurdles.
Frustration has grown among the US corporate lobby. Indian sourcing rules for retail, information technology, medicine and clean energy products are contentious and US firms complain about "unfair" imports from India of everything from shrimp to steel pipes.
Earlier this week Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, cited a deal with the US on civil nuclear power as one of the major achievements of his nine-year tenure. However implementation of the deal was blocked when Indian lawmakers passed crucial legislation affecting the liability of overseas firms investing in nuclear power in the south Asian country.
The arrest of Khobragade touches a range of sensitivities in India. Almost all middle-class households in India employ at least one, and often several, members of staff who will undertake tasks from cleaning and cooking to childcare and driving.
With few Indian diplomats paid wages that would allow them to legally employ local staff to perform such functions in postings in the west, the practice has long been for Indian workers to be flown out and paid rates that, if illegal in the US and elsewhere, would be generous at home.
The question then may be asked: In the Indian consul general, Prabhu Dayal, was accused by his maid of forced labour and sexual harassment, charges he called "complete nonsense" and that were later dropped. The US attorney handling the case, Preet Bharara, made the highly unusual move of issuing a lengthy statement addressing the arrest and issues not in a criminal complaint.
He said Khobragade was afforded courtesies most Americans would not get, such as being allowed to make phone calls for two hours to arrange childcare and sort out personal matters, after she was arrested by state department agents outside the school that her children attend in Manhattan.
Bharara, who was born in India but moved with his family to New Jersey, defended his case. She affirmed her gratitude to the government of India, in particular to the external affairs minister, and the people of India, as also the media, for their strong and sustained support during this period," it said.the majority members of the five-member committee were absent during the crucial technical bid assessment meeting held to decided on awarding attheheels.comended the government file an FIR .
Dec 18, · "Ms. Khobragade was accorded courtesies well beyond what other defendants, most of whom are American citizens, are accorded," Bharara said, . Jun 13, · Find Devyani Khobragade Latest News, Videos & Pictures on Devyani Khobragade and see latest updates, news, information from attheheels.com Explore more on Devyani Khobragade.
Devyani Khobragade, whom everyone remembers as the controversial diplomat arrested three winters ago in New York for alleged visa fraud involving her housekeeper, has, somewhat trendily, turned to.
Mar 14, · The Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip-search in NYC sparked a diplomatic row has again been indicted by the federal government, though she remains in India. Divisions. Administration [All administrative matters of the Ministry including Cadre management; Creation/continuation of posts; Formulation, Interpretation and Advice on IFS[PLCA] Rules, CCS Rules/Conduct Rules; Use of Hindi in the official work of the Ministry; O&M and Office Procedures].