3 Complications in Devyani Plea Deal

Devyani Khobragade - In the Eye of a StormDevyani Khobragade – Born to Privilege as a Scheduled Caste

Despite multiple rounds of talks between NYC Indian Consulate’s Deputy Consul-General Devyani Khobragade’s legal team and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office to resolve the diplomatic crisis caused by Devyani’s arrest and subsequent strip-search, a plea deal to resolve the crisis has been bedeviled by serious differences between the two sides.

Both Preet Bharara and Devyani’s attorney Daniel Arshack have disclosed in court filings that plea discussions have been going on for several weeks.

The Indian government, through the External Affairs ministry in New Delhi and via the office of the new Ambassador Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Washington DC, is also actively involved in trying to save Devyani and repair the serious damage to India’s dignity and honor caused by her arrest and strip-search.

Devyani Khobragade was arrested on December 12, 2013 on charges of Visa fraud and making false statements to U.S. authorities on the wages to be paid to her maid Sangeeta Richard. She was strip-searched by U.S. Marshals following her arrest, a standard procedure in federal cases.

Devyani is currently out on quarter-million dollar bail along with a bunch of restrictions.


There are three complications in arriving at a plea deal over L’affaire Devyani.

First, the ardent desire of both the Indian and U.S. governments not to be seen as surrendering to the other side.

After all, in diplomacy or any discussions between governments perceptions matter more than reality.

For the moment, the U.S. has the upper hand and is perceived to have acted boldly disregarding the high diplomatic status of Devyani and for its moves on behalf of a poor maid.

The Indian government and Devyani’s supporters are seething and have got their langots in a twist over the perceived insult to a senior diplomat but are helpless to do anything about it other than whining, complaining and endlessly adjusting their langots.

As part of the U.S. desire to maintain the upper hand and keep the pressure on Devyani, Preet Bharara’s office is opposing Devyani’s attorney’s request to delay the preliminary hearing scheduled for January 13.

On January 6, 2014, Bharara wrote to U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn:

While we remain open to continuing these plea discussions as the case proceeds, the discussions are simply not at a stage that merits a continuance of the preliminary hearing. Moreover, the plea discussions can continue following indictment of the case. Accordingly, the Government is not seeking an extension of the deadline for indictment and therefore there is no motion for the Court to decide.

The U.S. State Department’s delay in approving Devyani’s U.N. credentials is also part of the pressure tactic on Devyani to settle the case on terms favorable to the prosecution (after her arrest, India transferred Devyani to the U.N. to provide her full immunity as opposed to the limited Consular Immunity she had earlier).

Indians have also been hamstrung in raising the race card since the prosecutor Preet Bharara and key spokespeople at the U.S. State Department are Indian-Americans.

The issue before the U.S. authorities has never been the trial or Devyani’s imprisonment if she is found guilty.

The odds of the Devyani case ever going to trial or her imprisonment (even if she’s fund guilty) are extremely low. By arresting and strip-searching Devyani, the U.S. has already made its point.

Fine and Apology

The second question now before the U.S. State Department and prosecutor Preet Bharara is how much fine to impose on Devyani Khobragade/Indian government and the U.S. desire for a clear written apology from Devyani to send a strong message about U.S. impartiality and equal treatment of all before the law.

Although the Indian government has previously paid hefty fines over the exploitative actions of NYC Indian Consulate diplomats vis-a-vis their maids, this time India is digging in its heels on a fine given the wide unfavorable publicity to the Devyani case and the need to avoid being seen as toadies to the U.S.

But the U.S. side seems adamant on both the fine and an expression of apology before they can let Devyani off.

Family Issues

A third complication, and one that is less talked about publicly, isย  that Devyani’s husband Aakash Singh Rathore is an American citizen.

Presumably, Devyani’s two young children are also Americans since their father is an American.

This means Devyani cannot be easily booted out of America and banned from ever returning.

So any punishment to Devyani must allow for her to visit the U.S. at any time and with minimal inconvenience.

Still, all things considered it appears the two sides will arrive at an agreement before the end of this month.

There’s too much at stake for both India and the U.S. to let the Devyani crisis fester and sink into a quicksand of intractable positions.

I won’t be surprised if the case is settled even before the January 13, 2014 indictment date.

Related Devyani Khobragade Stories:
Preet Bharara’s Letter to Judge
Indians are Chutiyas โ€“ Preet Bharara
Who the Heck is Devyani Khobragade?
Legal Complaint Against Devyani Khobragade
What Likely Happened During Devyaniโ€™s Strip Search?

11 Responses to "3 Complications in Devyani Plea Deal"

  1. unknownvirus   January 7, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I hate fucking Indian-Americans.

    The dick heads that they are, act more white than the white people.

    I thought this was the case only with Indian Americans but then I heard similar comments about the Chinese Americans too from the Chinese people.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    People say the same thing about successful Blacks too.

    One of the biggest taunts/insults that Blacks face in schools and colleges (from other Blacks, Asians and Hispanics) is:

    Acting White

    No kidding! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    That everyone in America wants to Act More White than the Whites exemplifies the power and stranglehold of Whites and White Culture on our society.

  2. rvasam   January 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    FOB’s hate ABCD’s
    ABCD’s hate FOB’s and anyone w/ a FOB accent

    Indians hate each other
    Whites hate Mexicans
    Chinese hate Whites
    Whites hate Blacks
    Blacks & Asians hate Indians
    Indians hate Chinese & other Asians…

    Wooaah.. We all hate each other…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. You write: Wooaah.. We all hate each other….

    That’s why Americans invest a lot of time and money on their Dogs & Cats! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. You forgot the Pakis.

    Even the Pakis don’t know which group they hate the most – Bangladeshis or Indians!

    3. BTW, Blacks hate Asians too.

    Some 15-20 years back, Blacks & Asians (mainly Koreans) had a lot of problems with each other in Los Angeles!

  3. rmadasu   January 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    If you don’t mind my asking you who are you guys rooting for in this case.

    It seems to me that not one is entirely in the right or wrong.

    They are all rich powerful people attacking each other except for Sangeeta who seems to be the only sympathetic person, but even her behaviour raises some red flags.

    Of course the most powerful force is the US prosecution and with all their huffing and puffing Indian government and its diplomatic corps can’t really do much.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. You write: If you don’t mind my asking you who are you guys rooting for in this case.

    These days, I don’t root for any one whatever be the case or incident.

    If I have understood anything in the evening of my life it’s that most events have neither meaning nor clearly discernible causes.

    In the Devyani context, she & the NYC Indian Consulate ought to have been careful considering previous maid incidents.

    As for the maid Sangeeta, I’m reminded of the famous Yale anthropologist James C Scott’s Weapons of the Weak theory! Poor people/lower classes sometimes resist or react to what they perceive as their existential nightmares in strange and completely unexpected ways.

    2. Yes, I agree with you that at the end of the day Indians are fretting and fuming but in impotent fury.

    • Naveen   January 8, 2014 at 12:32 am

      @SI – most events have neither meaning nor clearly discernible causes

      Have you seen “Burn After Reading”? I really liked it when I watched it a couple of years ago.



      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      I’m aware of the film but have yet to watch it….will see it by Tues/Wed for sure this time!

    • Dr.Logu   January 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Whenever i think of Sangeetha I am reminded of Cultural Marxism which essentially propagates “The victim is always right. No matter what Since they are subjected to unrelenting discrimination and must learn about oppressor groups in order to survive, they have more perspective and insight on life. Members of privileged classes, on the other hand, are so blinded by their privilege and oblivious to marginalized identities that theyโ€™re completely delusional, and can only remedy their ignorance by โ€œlisteningโ€
      Source: http://occidentinvicta.com/2013/07/07/how-to-spot-a-cultural-marxist-by-bay-area-guy/

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      I read the post in your link.

      Good Lord! Marx would be spinning in his grave at this fanciful notion of cultural marxism!

  4. shadowfax_arbit   January 8, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Why is the Indian government not taking action against this ***** for spoiling the name of our country?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Because there are too many sick fucks in the Indian government!

    2. Plus, she is a Scheduled Caste, in other words a Modern Day Brahmin.

    And Brahmins have always been Untouchable by lesser people!

  5. shadowfax_arbit   January 8, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hey SI

    I read this piece


    Is it really so cold?

    How are you managing?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Is it really so cold? How are you managing?

    Unimaginably, indescribably, terribly cold…. > 20 people have died so far.

    I went out for two short trips yesterday….once to get some Moca Coffee and the second to get the mail. Both times, it was hell even with all the extra layers of clothing, gloves, earmuffs, cap etc.

    But when I went to get the mail, I went without hand-gloves….it was horrible on the way back.

    It was -23C yesterday with the wind chill.

    If people stand outside without extremely protective clothes, earmuffs, gloves etc for more than 15-20 minutes, they’ll first get frost-bite and then die because of exposure.

    Today is better, but only relatively speaking….It’s -14C now.

    It must be worse in Chicago, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota etc.

    Large parts of the U.S. are shut down. Schools, offices etc are closed.

    I was scheduled to go to DC yesterday but canceled it out of fear of the cold (compared to some people, I’m a bit bold and adventurous but this weather scared the bejesus out of me too).

    I like to go out at least once or twice a day….otherwise I get a bit restless. To borrow your words (from one of your recent comments), I like to go out occasionally and see the ‘population’ and feel ‘lively’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ But that is very difficult now.

    Bottom line – Hellish if you go outside (inside everyone has heat).

    • Desimom99   January 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

      This about sums it up:

      “It is 40 degrees warmer than it was 2 days ago and it still is below freezing.”

      A quote from a friend in town :)!

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Freezing or not, I must go out today….Otherwise I’ll freeze to death out of boredom! ๐Ÿ™

      Maybe, I’ll go to a diner! Long since I’ve been to one!

    • shadowfax_arbit   January 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      OMG! Thats real scary to even imagine!

  6. Dr.Logu   January 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Are you aware of the sibling rivalry that has reemerged to haunt the old timer?


    The Old timer’s veiled warning


    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Ha ha, it looks like a Duryodhana vs Dushasana battle with the Old man as Sakuni!

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