New Delhi: Throwing the rule book at the US yet again, India said Thursday that its diplomat Devyani Khobragade, enjoyed full diplomatic immunity when she was arrested in New York on December 12 for alleged visa fraud.
According to sources, Devyani Khobragade was accredited as an “adviser” to India’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York and this grants her immunity. The accreditation was valid beginning August 26, 2013 and ending December 31 this year.
Asked if the diplomat pointed this out to the authorities arresting her and claimed diplomatic immunity, sources said Ms Khobragade knew she was an adviser.
However, they said the legal implications of what the status means is something that only lawyers know since this requires legal expertise and knowledge of treaties.
Further, the sources said that those who brought legal charges against the diplomat are the ones who should have been aware of the implications, and if they weren’t, it showed shoddy work on their part.
In this regard, the sources cited the fact prosecuting district attorney Preet Bharara had claimed Ms Khobragade offered a monthly salary of $4,500 to house-help Sangeeta Richard whereas that was the diplomat’s own salary.
Article 4, Section 11A, of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, which provides for “immunities from personal arrest or detention and from the seizure of their personal baggage” of all representatives of members to the UN.