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MEA verdict out, Verma is guilty

Anil Verma, the third highest-ranking envoy in the mission in London, is guilty of domestic violence. Jayanth Jacob reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 19, 2011 00:35 IST
Jayanth Jacob

The report of the India High Commission from London to the ministry of external affairs (MEA), based on which diplomat Anil Verma was recalled, finds the official guilty of domestic violence on December 11, but also brings out controversial aspects about the episode.

The report finds Verma, an IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre and the third highest-ranking diplomat in the mission in London, guilty of domestic violence, based on the December incident. There are eye-witnesses accounts of what happened on that day, when his wife Paromita, an employee with the Indian Railways, ran to the neighbours sporting a bloody nose.

"Once the officer is back, the matter will be thoroughly investigated and action will be taken consequent upon the inquiry," MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said. He added that action will be taken according to the law of the land.

"There is no question of condoning domestic violence. It is unacceptable. The high commission has responsibility for members of the family," he said.

The MEA spokesperson, however, made it clear that a probe into allegations against Anil Verma will be done only under the Indian law. "We have a transparent judicial system. The matter will be dealt with under the laws of the land," he said. Britain had demanded that diplomatic immunity to Verma be waived off.

Apart from the fear that waiving immunity to Verma may set a precedent, questions are being raised about the motives of the Paromita, who also holds a diplomatic passport. She had moved a UK court without informing officials citing fear of threat to life, say the High Commission findings.

The report also mentions the couple's five-year-old son, who is unwell and needs constant attention. The High Commission had advised them to sort out their marital issues of the past.

There were also hints that Paromita, whose immediate family is in London, would like to stay back in London.