As usual, I am pondering a big question right now.
Will NYC Indian Consulate’s Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade’s arrest trigger a diplomatic row between my two favorite nations, Mera Bharat Mahaan and Amazing Amreeka?
I had always thought diplomats were immune to the consequences of their actions unless they did something really, terribly macabre like serial murder.
That’s why I was mighty surprised when senior Indian Foreign Service Officer and Deputy Consul General of the Indian Consulate in New York City Devyani Khobragade was arrested today on charges of Visa fraud.
Devyani Khobragade has been Deputy Consul General since November 2012 and was even Acting Consul General for some time.
Clearly, U.S. State Department officers do not believe Devyani Khobragade enjoys diplomatic immunity although she is an accredited diplomat.
Here’s what U.S. Special Agent Mark Smith of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service wrote in a court filing:
Based on my review of an official database of the U.S. Department of State, and my conversations with an employee of the Protocol section of the U.S. Department of State, which is the entity that accredits foreign diplomats and determines immunity levels, I know that Khobragade enjoys limited diplomatic immunity with respect to only those acts undertaken in her official capacity.
If Mark Smith’s argument is accepted by the U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman of the Southern District Court of New York, then Devyani is screwed even if she’s innocent because it’ll mean a lengthy trial process, big legal fees and a huge distraction to her job as Deputy Consul General.
What Will India Do?
Indians are generally spineless toadies who suck up to White people.
But in this instance, I do not believe India will waive the diplomatic immunity of Devyani Khobragade.
Most likely, there are already feverish discussions between diplomats of the two countries on how to handle this crisis.
I suspect eventually Devyani Khobragade will be asked to quietly leave the United States.
But my hypothesis may prove to be wrong – And Devyani Khobragade could be sentenced to prison for several years.
However the Devyani case turns out, I believe it’ll be a turning point on the subject of Diplomatic Immunity and how far the ‘immunities’ can be stretched by diplomats!
And for Devyani Khobragade, it’s bound to be a black mark in her career!