Waive diplomatic immunity for Anil Verma: UK
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Last Updated: Monday, January 17, 2011, 23:40
  
New Delhi/London: Even as India has transferred its London-based diplomat Anil Verma, Britain on Monday disclosed that it had pressed for Verma's diplomatic immunity to be waived which was declined by government.

With the British office demanding waiving diplomatic immunity of the diplomat or his transfer from London and action against him under Indian laws, India chose the second option, sources said to a news agency.

In London, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Spokesperson said to a news agency "We can confirm that we have formally requested the waiver of diplomatic immunity for a diplomat posted at the Indian High Commission in London."

"The Foreign Offices does not tolerate diplomats working in the UK breaking the law," the spokesperson said.

"In addition, Foreign Office officials met staff of the Indian High Commission in London to discuss the matter and to emphasise the serious nature of the allegations. British High Commission staff in Delhi also met officials of the Ministry of External Affairs."

Verma, a 1986-batch IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre and third-ranked diplomat in the Indian High Commission, found himself in trouble when his wife Paromita covered in blood was found screaming by neighbours on December 11.

When the police arrived, 45-year-old Verma, Minister (Economic) in the Indian mission, claimed diplomatic immunity and escaped action.

Sources in Delhi said Verma has been transferred to back to India with immediate effect and may face action which will be based on the findings of the probe into the allegations of assault against him.

Meanwhile, the wife of the Indian diplomat, has gone into hiding with the couple's five-year-old son over fears for her safety, a media report said.

Paromita is living in fear of her life after moving out of their home and has applied for leave to remain in the UK on humanitarian grounds amid fears that she would be forcibly taken back to India, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

"Throughout their time over here, Anil would boast about his diplomatic immunity and he would tell Paromita that no one could touch him because of it. He would goad her and say, 'Call the police as many times as you want. I've got diplomatic immunity'," a close family friend of the Vermas was quoted by the British newspaper as saying.

"He was shameless with it. He has been given so much power and he is abusing it. Paromita has gone into hiding and seriously fears that her safety and health are in jeopardy."

PTI


First Published: Monday, January 17, 2011, 23:40


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