India Wants 'Wife-Beater' Diplomat to Return Soon

H S Rao/London
India Wants 'Wife-Beater' Diplomat to Return Soon
India has asked its mission here to make necessary arrangements for an early return to New Delhi of its diplomat Anil Verma, who is accused of assaulting his wife here.

Britain's government had sought a waiver of Verma's diplomatic immunity to pursue a probe against him, but India has transferred the senior official back to New Delhi, saying the matter will be "thoroughly investigated" and action taken accordingly.

A spokesman of the Indian High Commission here told PTI today: "The High commission has been informed that a decision has been taken by the Government of India to transfer Mr Anil Verma and his family to India.

The High Commission has been asked to make necessary arrangement for Verma and his family members to return to India at the earliest," he said.

The High Commission has sought the assistance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to facilitate the early departure, the official said.

The spokesman also said that what appeared in the media report of January 16 "is completely distorted, biased and appears to be motivated version of what actually transpired during two visits of the Deputy High Commissioner Rajesh Prasad to the Vermas residence on Dec 13, 2010 and January 3, 2011".

He said that at no point was Verma's wife Paromita berated or threatened by the Deputy High commissioner as has been reported in the media.

The Daily Mail which had reported the case had also claimed that Prasad had threatened Paromita with deportation to India.

Verma, Minister (Economic) in the High Commission has been questioned by Scotland Yard on allegations that he assaulted his wife, but escaped prosecution due to diplomatic immunity.

Verma, a senior IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre, is alleged to have attacked his wife after a heated argument on December 11, 2010.

The police were called to the couple's home in Golders Green, North-West London, after neighbours heard a woman screaming.

Though the FCO asked India to waive the diplomatic immunity so that they could take appropriate action, India decided to transfer him back.

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, foreign officials, their spouses, children and staff are protected from prosecution in their host country.

As a result, embassy staff accused of serious offences can be charged only if their government agrees to waive their diplomatic immunity.
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