I didn't break rules: Khobragade

I didn't break rules: Khobragade

Even as the government put diplomat Devyani Khobragade on “compulsory wait” after launching an inquiry against her, the young Indian Foreign Service officer on Saturday said she has not violated any service rule and would not resign.

Khobragade, who was a director in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), was stripped of her official responsibility and put on compulsory wait. The administrative action was initiated after she gave interviews to several TV channels about her ordeal following her arrest in New York by United States authorities in December 2013 for allegedly underpaying her domestic help.

Though the MEA did not officially make any comment on the reason for its decision, it is understood that the action was initiated following launch of a vigilance inquiry into her alleged attempt to hide the fact that her children have dual citizenship of India and the US.

The arrest and strip-search of Khobragade, who was then Deputy Consul General of India in New York, on December 12, 2013, had triggered a diplomatic spat between New Delhi and Washington.

The row ended with Khobragade returning to New Delhi and India expelling a US diplomat posted in the American Embassy here. The US district court in New York had dismissed the first indictment against Khobragade, but the prosecutors filed a second indictment, which made it difficult for her to travel to US and reunite with her husband and children based in New York.

Khobragade told TV channels on Saturday that her earlier interviews to journalists did not violate Civil Services Rules of 1964 as she only expressed her personal views on the allegation concerning dual citizenship of her children.

The IFS officer also said that she would not resign. Khobragade gave the interviews to TV channels amid a perception in New Delhi that the new government might not put at risk India-US relationship by trying hard to get the second indictment against her dismissed.

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