Devyani Khobragade, an IFS officer and former Deputy Consul-General of India in New York on Friday denied in the Delhi High Court the central government’s claim that she violated the passport and citizenship laws by obtaining American and Indian passports for her two daughters.
She submitted before Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw that unlike the External Affairs Ministry’s contention that her conduct raised questions about her “trustworthiness and integrity”, in her 16 years of service she was “routinely adjudicated” as ‘outstanding’ or a very good officer with the highest degree of credibility and integrity.
In her response to the ministry’s contention that she violated Indian Passports Act and Citizenship Act, Khobragade has said “it is respectfully stated that mother of the petitioners (Khobragade’s daughters) never applied, nor allowed her spouse or dependants to apply for a foreign nationality or an immigrant visa nor is such a thing alleged by the respondents (Centre).
“Hence, by the respondents’ own admission, there is no violation of Rules of Indian Foreign Service (conduct and discipline) Rules, 1961…”, she said.
Khobragade has also said in her rejoinder affidavit that she has “served the country for 16 years with outstanding service records.”
“The confidential notes written by the persons who have had the occasion to observe the conduct of the officer closely, routinely adjudicated the officer as ‘outstanding’ or a very good officer with the highest degree of credibility and integrity…,” the rejoinder added.
She has also said that her daughters were entitled to have Indian diplomatic passports.
“In the light of the 16 years of outstanding service to the country, the irrelevant and defaming statements by the respondents at several places in their response casting aspersions on the integrity of the officer are not only unfortunate but also reflect a bias, establishing that the action of issuing ‘recordable warning’ as well as revocation of the passport was on extraneous considerations, and as a result of bias and anger, as is clear for all to see through the defaming statements of the respondents.
“Hence this court is requested to quash all the actions which result from bias and vengeance,” she has said.