Devyani Khobragade and her pending motion to dismiss charges based upon UN letter
How Devyani was arrested and Richard family was evacuated to United States, with prior pending legal proceedings in India affecting them, remain quite disturbing. Any immigrationfraud upon India by the Richard family’s exiting-paperwork and those who assisted them is fair area of inquiry and action.
However, the recent stories, such as Times Now’s “US Lies Nailed,” based upon an explicitly non-binding “informal” opinion by UN Legal Office, in answer to a member state’s inquiry, defames the United States even as Judge Scheindlin, pursuant to binding precedent, must deny Devyani’s prearrest full immunity claim.
It’s axiomatic that as one cannot be married to two people at the same time, similarly a diplomat is credentialed either as a Deputy Consul General with an A-visa or as an “Advisor” or “counselor” of PMI to the United Nations with a G-visa. If Devyani’s UN “blue” colored “advisor” card issued in August 2013 had been followed up with a then-request to the US State Department for a change in status for Devyani, from CGI to PMI and a resulting visa-change from “A” to “G” had occurred, then Devyani could not have been arrested in December 2013 as she would have enjoyed full diplomatic immunity rather than mere official acts-transactional immunity as a DCG.
It ill serves the proud people of India to be misled by Devyani’s legal team, who are obviously lost in a legal wilderness. It ill serves us to see USA Preet Bharara defamed due to a defendant’s legal incomprehension of obvious facts and binding law. The United States’ State Department declaration about the A or G visa status of Devyani will be dispositive in dealing with the pending immunity-based dismissal motion in court, as the United States is the “receiving state” and it’s visa-category issuance is binding.
Indeed, if Devyani had a “G” visa since August 2013, then why did she have to wait for getting it in early January 2014, allowing her to return to India and her family and FM Khurshid honorably discharge his commitment “to bring the lady back” after successful 5 multistep negotiations with the United States: we will grant a G-visa and it’s full immunity; we will then ask India to waive it; India will decline; we will then ask India to recall her; and Devyani will leave United States.
While there may be other legitimate grounds to challenge the criminal charges filed against Devyani and seek their dismissal, the currently pending motion is akin to requesting a man to get pregnant – something even a highly learned and respected Judge Scheindlin cannot order. Whatever India does, it should do judiciously to address the Devyani issue and it’s troubling fact pattern, consistent with sovereignty, warm bilateral relations, and an understanding of actual law, not legal miscomprehensions of US law aided and abetted by a willing lawyer. It is beyond the cavil, let alone bilateral warmth, that the criminal charges ought not have been considered, let alone filed. But, now that they are, it ill serves Devyani to operate under false impression of US law and file impotent motions to dismiss.”