Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Devyani Khobragade re-indictment unnecessary, can hurt relations: India to US

Devyani Khobragade is not permitted to return to the United States except to submit to the jurisdiction of the court. (PTI) Devyani Khobragade is not permitted to return to the United States except to submit to the jurisdiction of the court. (PTI)
Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Posted: March 16, 2014 5:47 am | Updated: March 16, 2014 10:05 am

Expressing its disappointment over the US re-indicting IFS officer Devyani Khobragade on visa fraud charges and calling it an unnecessary step, India Saturday said that any step taken consequent to the decision would hurt efforts on both sides to build a strategic partnership between the two countries.

Sources in New Delhi said the “second indictment” takes the situation back to where it was earlier this week before a US court quashed the first indictment of Khobragade on the ground that she had diplomatic immunity.

The MEA’s official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that as far as India was concerned, the case has no merit and now that Khobragade has returned, the court in the US has no jurisdiction in India over her and the government will therefore no longer engage on this case in the US legal system.

“We are disappointed that the relevant office of the United States Department of Justice chose to obtain a second indictment against Devyani Khobragade, despite the fact that the first indictment and arrest warrant were dismissed earlier this week,” Akbaruddin said. “This was an unnecessary step. Any measures consequent to this decision in the US, will unfortunately impact upon efforts on both sides to build the India-US strategic partnership, to which both sides are committed.”

The 21-page new indictment, filed by the office of US attorney Preet Bharara, said the diplomat “knowingly made” multiple false representations and presented false information to US authorities in order to obtain a visa for a personal domestic worker.

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