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Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade Seeks Dismissal of Charges
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Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country’s laws, although they can still be extradited. The concept and custom have a long history and are now considered to be customary law. Most diplomats are representatives of nations with a tradition of professional civil service, and are expected to obey regulations governing their behaviour and they suffer strict disciplinary action if they disobey local laws.

Devyani Khobragade is the the Indian diplomat who was arrested in front of her daughter’s school in lower Manhattan, and she is seeking to have the case dismissed. Devyani Khobragade was arrested in the U.S. for visa fraud and charged on December 12 with making false statements. According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. Marshals in the Federal Court house strip-searched and put her with other female suspects. Devyani Khobragade lied about the wages she planned to pay her babysitter.


Daniel Arshack, the lawyer for Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, told U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin that, “because his client was “cloaked” in diplomatic immunity at the time of her arrest and indictment, she can’t be prosecuted.”

In New York City, the home of the United Nations Headquarters therefore thousands of diplomats, the city regularly protests to the Department of State about non-payment of parking tickets because of diplomatic status. In addition, landlords and creditors cannot enter the offices or apartments of diplomats to evict them because the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act says that “the property in the United States of a foreign state shall be immune from attachment, arrest and execution.” Thus the situation can seem outside f the justice system, and can appear very unfair to other law abiding citizens who reside peacefully and within the law in their community. To search for jobs in New York City, get started by clicking on this link.

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