Indian Envoy Had No Diplomatic Immunity: US - The New Indian Express

Indian Envoy Had No Diplomatic Immunity: US

Published: 15th December 2013 08:41 AM

Last Updated: 15th December 2013 08:41 AM

In its first official reaction to the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, the US State Department on Saturday claimed that the envoy did not enjoy “diplomatic immunity.”

However, there was no comment on why she was handcuffed following her arrest.

“Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Indian Deputy Consul General enjoys immunity from the jurisdiction of US courts only with respect to acts performed in the exercise of Consular functions,” a State Department spokesperson said.

“We are handling this incident through law enforcement channels. We have a long-standing partnership with India, and we expect that that partnership will continue,” the  official, while refusing to comment on the facts of the case, added.

Sources here pointed out that Washington had kept mum on the main point of New Delhi’s outrage-- the manner in which the diplomat was treated upon her arrest.

Interestingly, the US  position on diplomatic immunity, has not been contested by India.

Khobragade,39, a 1999 batch IFS officer currently posted at the Indian mission in New York, was picked up on Thursday shortly after she had dropped off her two daughters at school.

Her arrest followed the charges levelled by a former domestic assistant that the envoy had not been paying her the minimum wages. Besides, it was alleged that Khobragade had forced her to falsify statements to obtain a visa.

She was even handcuffed while being produced in the court.

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