Everything You Need to Know About the Case

Devyani Khobragade (39), Deputy Consul General and 1999 batch IFS officer, was arrested in New York, on allegations made by her former domestic assistant – who’s missing since June – that Devyani had not been paying her minimum wages and forced her to make false statements to obtain a visa.

Diplomat Alleges Housekeeper’s Ploy

Devyani is facing charges of visa fraud and paying less than what had been declared before the US immigration authorities to her domestic servant Richards, who had brought in from India in 2012. Devyani’s father Uttam Khobragade, a retired IAS officer, said that their former housekeeper Sangeeta Richards had through some people made demand for $10,000 and also wanted to facilitate her permanent stay in the US.

With India describing the arrest and handcuffing of its diplomat for alleged visa fraud in the US as “shocking and appalling”, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh summoned Ambassador Nancy Powell over the “unacceptable treatment” and “public humiliation” of the Indian Foreign Service officer.

Outraged India Slams US Over Insult of Diplomat in New York

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Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has termed the arrest of Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade in public as an “insult” and said the US’s reaction is awaited on the matter.

Indian Diplomat’s Arrest in Public is an Insult: Khurshid

As media reports that Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was “strip-searched” after her arrest in New York threatened to escalate a diplomatic row between the two countries, the US suggested it had merely followed “standard procedures.”

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Tuesday declined to meet a US Congressional delegation to highlight India’s strong disapproval of the arrest and handcuffing of an Indian diplomat in New York last week.

On the question of both canceling their meetings with a visiting congressional delegation to show India’s displeasure, the State Department spokesperson again sought to pass the buck.

Rahul Gandhi, Shinde Decline to Meet US Delegation

Angry over the “despicable” and “barbaric” treatment meted out to its diplomat, India asked US diplomats to turn in their IDs.

Turn in Your IDs, India Tells US Diplomats as Row Escalates

Uttam Khobragade, father of 39-year-old Devyani, met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and demanded that the issue be resolved through “political and diplomatic” initiatives.

Diplomat’s Father Meets Union Ministers, Seeks Justice for Her

Reacting to a slew of retaliatory measures taken by India in response to the treatment of Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, the State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said “an isolated episode” should not “impact the bilateral relationship.”

US Sticks to its Guns, Demands Restoration of Diplomatic Security

In a damage control exercise, Kerry also expressed his concern saying this “unfortunate public issue” of the arrest and strip search of Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, should not be allowed to hurt “our close and vital relationship with India”.

Kerry Calls Up Menon, Regrets Indian Envoy’s Arrest

IACC, a non-government, industry led and industry-managed organisation for promoting commercial relations between the two countries, strongly objected to the “humiliating treatment” meted out to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade by the US law enforcement agencies.

Diplomat Row: IACC Seeks Unconditional Apology From US

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath Thursday said that to satisfy India the US will have to apologise and admit their mistake for the arrest and subsequent humiliation of Indian diplomat. The statement comes after US Secretary of State John Kerry called India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon Wednesday to express his “regret” over the situation in a bid to end the standoff between the two countries over the issue.

US Will Have to Apologise: Kamal Nath

India hit back at US Attorney Preet Bharara, who had justified Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest, accusing him of interfering with the Indian legal system and asserting that the arrest was not in keeping with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic immunity.

India Tears into Bharara for Defending Action Against Diplomat

As US officials held talks with their Indian counterparts to find a resolution to the diplomatic row over the strip-search of an Indian diplomat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directed officials to ensure “full resolution” of the issue.

PM Asks for ‘Full Resolution’ of Khobragade Issue

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Thursday said the decision to revoke the paring down of privileges to US diplomats would not be taken in a hurry.

“Such decisions are not taken in a hurry. We will study the matter and then take a call,” the minister told IANS.

No Hurry in Restoring US Diplomatic Privileges: India

Trying to bring the temperatures down in their diplomatic spat, the US welcomed India’s reconciliatory stress on the importance of preserving their “valuable” ties as they try to work out a solution. The US and India were engaged in conversations at various levels to find a way forward, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters saying it agreed with the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s views on how important and valuable the relationship is.

US Welcomes India’s Move to Bring Temperatures Down

India and the US may be moving towards a resolution of the stand-off over senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s case with the envoy getting exemption from personal appearance in a New York Court hearing visa fraud charges against her even as she got her accreditation to the UN headquarters.

Khobragade Gets Exemption from Personal Appearance in US Court

India  said it has decided to take firm “reciprocal steps” against US consular staff in the country following the end of the deadline for surrendering the identity cards provided to them.

“India has decided to take firm reciprocal steps following the end of the deadline for surrender of identity cards provided to US consular staff in India,” sources said.

The sources said new identity cards, which are replicas of those provided to Indian consulate officials in the US, are being given in lieu of the withdrawn cards.

New Delhi has also decided that no cards will be given to family members of US consular officials, as the same courtesy is not extended to Indians in the US.

Khobragade Arrest: India Withdraws US Consular Officials’ ID Cards

Even as talks continue to resolve the impasse in the arrest case of a top Indian diplomat in the US, Washington has asserted that the “larger issue” of bringing domestic assistants into the country was also on the agenda. Meanwhile, diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s lawyer said investigators had made a “disastrous” conclusion by mistakenly reading entries in the visa form.

US Misread Visa Entries, Claims Devyani’s Lawyer

Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade had full diplomatic immunity at the time of her arrest, as she has been accredited as ‘advisor’ to the permanent mission of India to UN, since August, sources have said.

The week has been full of new revelations, starting with the information that the US Embassy in India had been very much complicit in ‘conspiracy’ to get Khobragade’s maid Sangeeta Richard’s family out of the country. It was found that the tickets for Richard’s husband and two children were paid for by the US Embassy’s official travel agency, with exemption for tax given to diplomatic missions.

Devyani Given Diplomatic Immunity in Aug This Year

With India determined not to relent on its demand for the US to formally apologise on the handcuffing and strip-search of its envoy Devyani Khobragade, a special group of experts, including in international law, would be meeting to discuss the case. The meeting of the group of experts, set up by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, is indicative of India’s firm resolve to pursue the matter to the end, said sources.

The US has been quiet on the matter for the past few days on account of most senior officials going on end-of-year leave for Christmas and New Year.

India Sets Up Special Group on Khobragade Case

US is proceeding with the prosecution of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade and has no intention to withdraw the case of visa fraud against her. US sources said that more evidence was being gathered against the 39- year-old diplomat before the indictment is filed. The deadline for indictment is January 13.

US to Proceed With Prosecution of Khobragade

A video currently in circulation on the social media, which claims to be allegedly showing the CCTV footage of the strip search of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade after her arrest in New York is a hoax, dangerous and provocative fabrication, the United States has said.

Video Footage of Devyani Strip Search is Hoax: US

  • Siva Subramaniam

    The best option is to carry out an unbiased joint inquiry to fix the facts and bring the erring person to book – weather it is the maid or the boss.

    • R S Chakravarti

      Clearly everyone erred. The diplomat didn’t pay the legal minimum wage. The maid was probably quite comfortable but was desperate to get a green card. The US Govt (not just the local authority) was eager to exploit the situation, probably to show the Indians who’s boss. They violated Indian court orders.

      The episode brought the diplomat’s property transactions (in India) into the public domain. The authorities (e.g., Income Tax) need to investigate.

      • S Gopal

        Agree with you. Furthermore, an American citizen in the form of the diplomat’s husband was privy to the wrongful guarantee to meet the minimum wages, should he be questioned to his complicity in the act of misrepresentation? Could he have paid the residuary amount to meet the minimum wages whereby this situation may not have arisen? Claims have been made from the Maid’s advocate that Delhi Police visited the residence of the Maid in Delhi at eleven in the night to make investigations leading to subsequent harassment meted out to her spouse and children. Was our Delhi Police acting on the diktat of any senior politico and/or senior civil servant to make these visits at unearthly hour or is it a cooked up account? Can her father’s position as a former senior civil servant have forced the Police’s hand in such a manner?

        • Sini Rao

          Surprising thing is why this person is so QUITE,???!!!! Is it a strategy. When his wife, no matter what her designation was, he should have actively participated using his rights as American Citizen, why he is silent.
          We in US are aware and for that matter being American citizen, how one can handle this type of situation. We interfere and solve majority of problems except interfering in the performance of law enforcement Officials. It is quite interesting, if by ignorance these things are let go, it is INDIA will suffer Internationally.No matter what ever it has put forward, when the US decides to investigates and comes up with something and if it goes against, it is the India to face it. US has looking at it diplomatically as it still considers it as a Country and share same values and treating differently than India’s neighbor Pakistan. Remember the difference we felt locally between Prime Ministers of two Countries and the way they received treatments speaks volumes. It appears some vested interests who do not want India to prosper are plotting this. Hey you guys over there in India, wake up the Politicians to the reality.

    • S Gopal

      Or both.

  • Gajanan Hirde

    I think Indian diaspora should be taught What does an Indian mean? Money does not mean you disrespect your parent country

  • Vajrapani

    This is not a case of erring. There is a spying angle to this case. The American diplomats in India are indulging in rampant spying in India via the local Indian staff. There are several interesting facts to this case. 1) the maid had actually gone missing since 6 months, US police did not act on Devyani’s complaint 2) US has urgently evacuated the family of the maid from India fearing “threat” to their lives!! 3) the much touted “visa-fraud” is just an salary underpayment case, there is absolutely no need to hand-cuff, strip search, and cavity probe the employer for this case! For some reason, USA is trying to intimidate the Indian official. She must be in the know of some vital information regarding US spying activities in India 4) the father-in-law of the maid works with the US embassy in Delhi 5) diplomatic immunity is well known, USA is more concerned about something else, what is it? 6) Who was hosting the maid for these full 6 months? 7) how come such a lousy US police who cannot track down an immigrant house-maid in 6 months were so ferocious and quick with Devyani? 8) why is India showing signs of reconsiliation? Did US succeed in arm twisting the Indian external affairs ministry? 9) Or, did USA suspect Devyani of spying in USA, with inputs via project PRISM? Why is India silent of privacy violations of Indian citizens by USA? 10) Is the email system of Indian diplomats in USA secure? This is a VERY BIG case, it may be hushed up when the Indians lose their stomach to stand up to their rights.

  • Mandar Gite

    Really difficult time for Devyai Khobragde .. If she stays in US, US Government will prosecute for visa fraud & if she returns, Govt of Maharashtra will Proceucte for #aadarsh scam! Is falsifying document an old habit ??

  • sini

    Every one below conveniently missing a VITAL error that is she brought on her own a person from her Country which amounts to HUMAN TRAFFICKING no one can deny. Second the giving DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY, Transferring her to UN, it is not in INDIA’s or India’s Prime Minister’s or for that matter anyone in India, it is the PREROGATIVE of the US to give or not to give. Not even UN’s.People who are IGNORANT of REALITY can write or talk anything they want. Blasting the DA just because he is of INDIAN AMERICAN;, is nothing short of FOOLISHNESS on any one who thought of it or thinking of it. The more you write you are prejudicing this employee’s case and do not under estimate the courtesy shown. The reason they are taking their own time is because the laws and execution of LAWS are different unlike INDIA anyone with influence can BEND AND SHAPE like a soft wax.
    Wait and see the result and comeback here and we will talk about it. We would not predict even though we know the out come which will surely please only few. The fact remain she committed crime, that is bringing some one from her country and mistreating and she disappeared into America who has more power even her employer in this Country. At the most, the US may allow her with remarks of the crime on her record and no chance to sneak back into this country even with her American born Indian Professor.

  • FloyydRTurbbo

    1) The maid and family should be returned to India with no Asylum given.
    2) The charges on the diplomat should be dropped and unconditional apology from US, and her passport returned. The diplomat should be withdrawn to India.
    3) No change in Immunity for US Embassy, post DK issue. US on Probation for a period of Five Years, where there is no ill treatment of Indian diplomats, Indian officials and Indian citizens.
    4) Prosecution of the US Embassy official or officials,Travel Agency and Air India for emigrating a fugitive and her family.
    5) No application to be signed by diplomats as the one signed by DK, The A-3 visa application is illegal and illogical and used as an entrapment of the diplomats.
    6) All US visa overstay should be deported and not given an asylum in the club in the US embassy as is currently done against the Vienna Convention..

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