Krittika case: US says immunity law not violated

Last Updated: Friday, June 17, 2011 - 21:09

Washington: The US State Department has insisted that there was no violation of international law on diplomatic immunity in the arrest of the Indian diplomat`s daughter in New York, while acknowledging that the Indian embassy here had lodged a "strong protest" against the arrest.

"Yes", the State Department said when asked if it received any official protest from the Indian government regarding the February 08 detention of Krittika Biswas, daughter of Vice Consul, Indian Consulate General in New York.

"The Indian embassy also `lodge(d) a strong protest` of the arrest and detention of Ms Biswas in a diplomatic note on April 13, when it advised the Department that the charges against Ms Biswas had been withdrawn and her suspension from school had been withdrawn and expunged," the State Department said.

The US Government has the utmost respect for India`s diplomatic and consular personnel and the tremendous work that they are doing in support of US-Indian relations, it said.

"We value our partnership with India and attach great importance to the presence of Indian diplomatic and consular representatives in the United States, and we sympathise with Ms Biswas and her family," it said.

However, it insisted that family members of consular officers do not enjoy immunity from arrest.

"The family member of a consular officer, such as Ms Biswas, does not enjoy immunity from arrest or from criminal or civil jurisdiction under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations," said the State Department.

Biswas last month sued New York City`s government for USD 1.5 million for wrongful arrest on the suspicion of sending obscene emails to her teacher in Queens` John Browne High School. The 18-year-old daughter of the vice counsel at Indian Consulate in Manhattan, Debashish Biswas, also claimed that she was ill-treated in the prison.

Her lawyer Ravi Batra said that her more than 24-hour arrest was a violation of international law, federal law as well as state and city law, and that neither her father nor the Consulate General of India, Prabhu Dayal, were informed of the arrest.

It had later emerged that Biswas did not send the e-mails and the school authorities eventually allowed her back to the school after the real culprit was found.


First Published: Friday, June 17, 2011 - 21:09

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