Indian diplomats posted abroad will be immediately recalled if they are charged with domestic violence or any kind of sexual or other misconduct, irrespective of how serious it is.
This is the gist of foreign secretary Nirupama Rao's letter sent on Friday to the heads of all Indian missions, in the wake of two top diplomats embarrassing the country by their actions in recent weeks.
Both Anil Verma at the Indian High Commission in London accused of brutally beating up his wife, and Aloke Ranjan Jha at India's permanent mission in New York charged with misbehaving with fellow passengers during a flight, have been brought back to India.
"I take this opportunity to inform you, and all officials working under you, that henceforth any act of domestic violence, or sexual misconduct, if proven, irrespective of the degree of its severity, will necessitate immediate recall of the officer and his dependents," Rao wrote in her letter.
Earlier, the external affairs ministry would conduct its own probe, recalling the officer concerned only after the probe confirmed his or her guilt. Henceforth, the officer will be recalled immediately, with the probe being conducted afterwards.
Rao has asserted in her letter that there will be ‘zero tolerance’ of any deviation from the straight and narrow, and officers if proved guilty would also face punishment for their actions as laid down under the central services conduct rules.