New Delhi: Hours after a U.S. court dropped all charges against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said on Thursday that the Indian Government has asked their lawyers to examine the verdict carefully, and going forward, to give legal advice accordingly.
“We have seen news reports about the verdict and the case a few hours ago. At this stage, all I can say is we have noted that the verdict pertains to the indictment of Devyani Khobragade that happened in January,” Akbaruddin said.
“It is good as far as it goes. We have asked our lawyers to examine the verdict very carefully, and then, to advise us accordingly,” he added.
In a 14-page order, the U.S. District Judge said that Khobragade had full diplomatic immunity at the time of her indictment on charges of visa fraud and for underpaying her maid.
The judge said Khobragade had served as consular officer in the United States from October 26, 2012 to January 8, 2014, a position that cloaked her with consular immunity as per the Vienna Convention.
Khobragade, who was deputy consul-general in New York, was arrested on December 12 on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid. She was later released on a USD 250,000 bond.
The diplomat was strip searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between Washington and New Delhi, that saw the Indian Government retaliating by downgrading privileges of American diplomats posted in India.