Waive diplomatic immunity for Anil Verma: UK

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."


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

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