US defends its Action against Devyani Khobragade

New York: United States has defended its action against Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested last week and released on bail, subsequently.

Also Read: Who is Devyani Khobragade?

Marie Harf, the deputy State Department spokeswoman, acknowledged that the State Department’s diplomatic security officials had played a role in Ms. Khobragade’s detention but said that federal marshals had been responsible for the “intake procedure.”

The  United States Marshals Service, which performed the arrest of Devyani  said in a statement on Tuesday that “standard arrestee intake procedures” were followed. It also confirmed that Devyani was Strip-searched after arrest  and was kept with the general prisoner population in the Southern District of New York.

However Marif Harf said that under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Indian deputy consul general enjoys immunity from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts only with respect to acts performed in the exercise of consular functions,” Harf said. “So, in this case, she fell under that specific kind of immunity and would be liable to arrest pending trial pursuant a felony arrest warrant.”

Harf added that federal authorities were working on the issue with India.

“We understand that this is a sensitive issue for many in India,” she said. “Accordingly, we are looking into the intake procedures surrounding this arrest to ensure that all appropriate procedures were followed and every opportunity for courtesy was extended.”