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Devyani to skip pre-trial court appearance as New Delhi shields her with UN papers

The next date of hearing in the visa fraud case in New York is scheduled for January 13.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | December 24, 2013 9:12:41 pm

Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade,accused of underpaying her maid and falsifying the maid’s visa documents,has got exemption from personal appearance in a New York court,indicating that India and the US were inching towards resolution of the noisy row over the officer’s mistreatment by authorities in that country.

The Sunday Express had reported that a waiver for Khobragade was likely,sparing her a repeat experience of being fingerprinted and undergoing medical tests as per US legal procedures.

Khobragade on Friday also got accreditation to the UN headquarters in New York. The diplomat,who was arrested on December 12 in New York,had been transferred by the Indian government to its mission to the UN with a view to giving her full diplomatic immunity.

Simultaneously,her exemption from personal appearance in the court is a significant step towards a way out of the stand-off created by her arrest and strip search which had evoked a sharp reaction from Indian government which has been pressing the US to drop the charges against her unconditionally.

According to sources,Khobragade’s lawyer had requested to court to exempt the envoy from appearing personally in the case and also postponement of the pre-trial and final trial dates much before she was transferred to the PMI to UN.

The next date of hearing in the case in New York is scheduled for January 13.

39-year-old Khobragade,a 1999-batch IFS officer posted as Deputy Consul General in New York,was taken into custody on visa fraud charges as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.

Meanwhile,the US embassy in New Delhi has sought extension of the deadline for filing the visa and other key details of Indians employed by it and its officers.

This information,demanded by India as part of the retaliatory measures taken following Khobragade’s arrest,includes the salary being paid to domestic help employed by US diplomats in India. The deadline was to run out on Monday.

(With PTI inputs)

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