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Granted immunity, Devyani on way home but cannot enter US again

Before she was indicted, Devyani was accorded full diplomatic immunity.

New York | Updated: January 10, 2014 2:40 pm
Charges against 39-year-old Khobragade will remain and she will have to face trial, if she returns to the US without diplomatic immunity. (AP) Charges against 39-year-old Khobragade will remain and she will have to face trial, if she returns to the US without diplomatic immunity. (AP)

The immediate crisis over the indictment of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in a US court over visa fraud seems to have been resolved with the official being granted full immunity after he transfer to the permanent Indian mission to the United Nations in New York.

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The diplomat is on her way to India now, having being transferred to the Ministry of External Affairs by the government but will still face criminal charges in the US if she returns without any diplomatic immunity.

READ ALSO: ‘Obama believes US has to continue building on ties with India’

The MEA has said that the official was granted diplomatic accreditation (G-1 visa) from the US state department following her transfer to the United Nations. This happened even as he was indicted in the US court for visa charges.

Following the indictment, the US government formally requested the Government of India to waive the immunity of Counsellor Khobragade. This was declined by India and Khobragade was assigned to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi with immediate effect.

“At the time of her departure for India, Counsellor Khobragade reiterated her innocence on charges filed against her. 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,” the MEA has stated.

Though the step gave a resolution to the immediate crisis, the diplomat would still have to face charges anytime she enters the US on a non immunity status. It may be noted that her husband is a US national.

“She also affirmed (before departure) her determination to ensure that the episode would not leave a lasting impact on her family, in particular, her children, who are still in the United States,” the MEA statement read.

However, as reported by the Indian Express, the facilitation of Khobragade’s unimpeded re-entry into the US was not a priority as much as ensuring diplomatic accreditation (G-1 visa) from the US state department following her transfer to the United Nations.

Over the past few weeks, South Block has planned an executed a range of measures targeting US diplomats in India. Starting with simpler steps like stripping some diplomatic privileges to preparing grounds for serious legal action, all options were explored.

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  1. J
    Jan 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    I am so glad Adarsh Kaubhand Father and Daughter make money by corruption went back to India. I do not respect her. As officer she should not involve fraud case of Visa.
    1. Ajay Kumar
      Jan 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm
      Are you saying fraudulent and criminal activity is diplomatic activity ? And does applying law according to rule and protocol in USA consue arrogance ? It may be normal thing to prosecute, convict and jail a politician or a VIP in India who gat bail, walk out of prison to resume hi normal activities. Example is Laalu and Sanjay Dutt. In India it may be alright to provide govt. accommodation and state security to Priyanka hi and her husband Robert Vadara, both private citizens, at tax payers expense. Sadly for India, these doesn't happen in western democracies. Unlike India where there are two cl of citizens, we in west have only one cl and no VIP culture like India.
      1. Ajay Kumar
        Jan 10, 2014 at 9:47 am
        This fraudster thanking Indian government and the people of India for their support ? I hope it is some kind of joke.Diplomatic immunity is immunity from prosecution for performing exclusively diplomatic duties for the country these diplomat represent. So they can function and perform their igned diplomatic job unhindered, fearlessly and without hindrance.Diplomatic immunity does not cover non diplomatic work like shopping, taking kids to school, amut park or movies, eating in restaurant on private social occasions, robing a bank, shoplifting, giving false information on a Visa form etc.From the posted comments by Indians in India I get the impression that they think diplomatic immunity implies immunity for every act of the the diplomat. Not so. Look at the word, DIPLOMATIC. It doesn't say only IMMUNITY. It says DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY, meaning thereby immunity for performing diplomatic related work.
        1. V
          Jan 10, 2014 at 5:17 am
          All these measures are finally going to boomerang on India itself. Why should US follow India's SC/ST and minority appeat policy.
          1. D
            Jan 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm
            So her $250000 bail is forfeited ? And who pays for that ? The stupid Indian public....
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