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DEVAYANI KOBRAGADE & INDO-US RELATIONS

Nyayapati Gautam

INDO US RELATIONS

June 23: The maid goes absconding.

NYPD refuses to entertain Khobragade.

July 1: The diplomat gets a call from an unidentified woman who says the maid won't move court if her employment is terminated and she is compensated for 19 hours of work per day. July 2: Khobragade informs in writing to both OFM and NYPD about the call. July 5: She registers a complaint of harassment, extortion and blackmailing with NYPD.

The same day Indian summons US embassy officials

July 8: Khobragade, who had also filed a complaint of theft against the maid, is called to an immigration lawyer's office:
She

is asked by the maid to shell out $10,000, convert her official passport into an ordinary one and help with her visa which would allow her to live in the US.

Angered by these tactics, India revokes her passport. She was now living illegally in the US.

July 30: Consul general of India (CGI) writes to OFM again saying that the maid, who according to a petition by her husband in a Delhi court was in NYPD custody, be produced in the Consulate but no action will be taken. September 4: State department steps in, writes to the Indian ambassador saying the matter was of "considerable concern" for the US. September 21: The embassy replies, saying this was none of US' business and that the maid was seeking a monetary settlement and US visa, whereby subverting both Indian and US laws. September 20: Delhi HC passes an interim injunction restraining the maid and her husband from filing for any action against Khobragade in any foreign court.

November 19: A Delhi court issues a nonbailable warrant against the maid. December 6: The warrant is forwarded to the US embassy with an official request to arrest the woman and facilitate her repatriation but this is ignored. December 10: The maid's husband and children fly off to New York after they are given visa confirming India's suspicion that the maid was acting to get herself a "trafficked person" status.

On December 11, 2013, the US state department charged Devyani Khobragade.


She

was charged with willfully committing visa fraud and perjury under Title 28, United States Code, Section 1746. The charges further alleged that Khobragade had submitted a visa application for anther individual (in this case her domestic help Sangeeta Richard) which contained materially false and inaccurate statements.

On December 12, Devyani was arrested in New York.

THOUGHTS ABOUT THE ISSUE

Manner of arrest of Devyani Khobragade humiliating.


It

also flouts Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, according to which consular officials are not liable to arrest except in cases of grave crime.

QUESTIONS

How important is India for the US?


Are

we just a client state for the US?

Are we just a bunch of rule breakers? Was the governments reaction a pre-election gambit to correct its weak image? What was Preet Bharara up to?

QUESTIONS
Will it leave a bad taste among IFS officers? Did we really impose any costs on the US?

Contract

signed for a $1.01-billion deal for supply of six additional C-130J transport aircraft.

Why did the US State Department not step in when there was a weak case Human Trafficking.

INDIAN REACTION
Removed security barriers. Asking all Consulate personnel and their families to turn in their ID cards immediately Information on salaries paid to all Indian staff employed at the Consulates

And

by Consulate officers and families including as domestic helps.

Expelling Wayne May and his wife, Alicia Muller May the Community Liaison Officer.