The Saudi Arabian embassy is learnt to have invoked “diplomatic immunity” for its diplomat accused of rape by two women from Nepal and registered a protest over Gurgaon police allegedly entering his house to conduct investigations, sources told The Indian Express.
This was conveyed to Indian officials, including Ministry of External Affairs joint secretary (Gulf) T Darlong, by a Saudi embassy delegation, led by Ambassador Saud Mohammed Al Sati, on Wednesday afternoon, the sources said.
Darlong is learnt to have told the delegation that police did not know initially that the premises housed a Saudi diplomat, and that the raid to “rescue” the two women engaged as domestic help was based on a tip-off from an NGO.
Under the Vienna Convention, 1961, “diplomatic immunity” cannot be violated unless the country that has posted the diplomat waives it off.
The Saudi embassy also issued a statement terming as “false” the allegations of sexual assault against the diplomat. “The embassy strongly stresses and have not been proven,” it said.
It added that the embassy has also brought to the notice of officials in the MEA the “unwarranted media briefings before investigations are complete, and has protested the police intrusion into a diplomat’s house against all diplomatic conventions”.
Article 30 of the Vienna Convention states that the “private residence of a diplomatic agent shall enjoy the same inviolability and protection as the premises of the mission”.
The embassy said that it would, however, wait for a clarification from the MEA on the issue and the outcome of investigations into the allegations, it said.
The MEA’s official spokesperson, Vikas Swarup, said, “We have asked for a report from Gurgaon police. Further steps will be taken once the Ministry receives a detailed report from them.”
The Nepal embassy has also approached the MEA seeking its help. “We are not fully aware of the involvement of any diplomat (Saudi). When we will be informed, then we will (reach out to the Saudis). It is a very, very sensitive case and we are getting full support from the MEA and local police,” said Nepal Ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay.