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`Krittika Biswas doesn`t need diplomatic immunity`

Last Updated: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 13:11

New York: Krittika Biswas, an Indian diplomat`s daughter who was wrongfully arrested on the suspicion of sending obscene emails to a teacher, does not
need "diplomatic immunity", her lawyer said on Friday.

Ravi Batra said that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations required the New York City government to inform the consulate of a signatory country if a citizen of that country had been arrested.

"The local authorities must make that communication...But nothing like that was done," Batra told a news agency.

US State Departments spokesman Mark Toner yesterday said the family members of the diplomats do carry diplomatic passports, but diplomatic immunity does not apply to them.

Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs reads, "the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner."

18-year-old Biswas has sued the New York city government for USD 1.5 million for what she claims was a wrongful arrest on the suspicion of sending obscene emails to her teacher in Queens` John Browne high school.

Biswas claims that she was handcuffed and led out of school on February 8. She also says that she was not allowed to use the bathroom for a long time, she could not drink water from a cooler that had vomit on it, and she spent the night
feeling cold because the blanket was too dirty to use.

The NYPD has not responded to request for comment. Biswas is the daughter of the Vice Counsel at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan.

Batra agreed that the officials of the consular office did not have the same level of immunity as an ambassador, and consular officials would not have immunity for criminal offences.

Batra, however, explained that Biswas would not claim immunity even if she had it because she was innocent.


First Published: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 13:11

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