No Permission Sought: MEA on Khobragade Interview

New Delhi
No Permission Sought: MEA on Khobragade Interview

Diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who had hit the headlines last year after she was arrested in the US in a visa fraud case, could be in trouble for a TV interview during which she talked about the incident and that things have not moved much since then.

Khobragade, a Director-level officer in the MEA headquarters here after her return in January said in the interview, "Things haven't moved as such, but I am hopeful that specially this government will take it up positively because this is not just my matter, it's about having a special judicial process against a diplomat."

Asked about her conduct in going to the media, the MEA Spokesperson said the views expressed by Khobragade were her own. On whether she had sought permission for the interview and if the MEA had given the permission, he said, "No on both accounts."

Sources said she could get a "rap on the knuckles" even as the ministry was examining other aspects of her case in the US.

Khobragade, former Deputy Consul General of India in New York, was arrested in the US on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid and released on a USD 250,000 bond.

The issue had escalated into a full-blown diplomatic spat between the US and India, which retaliated by downgrading privileges of certain category of US diplomats among other steps.

On whether India was still pursuing the case with the US, the Spokesperson said, "The issue that concerns us is not merely one that executives or administrative authorities can decide. It is an issue which has legal and judicial dimensions.

"And we have indicated that we will work through these. These are issues which take time and patients is required. If your question is whether the government of India is working on this, my answer is yes, it is working on it."

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