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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Khobragade exempted from appearance in US court

PTI  New Delhi, December 23, 2013
First Published: 15:18 IST(23/12/2013) | Last Updated: 15:21 IST(23/12/2013)
India and the US may be moving towards a resolution of the stand-off over senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade's case, with the envoy getting exemption from personal appearance in a New York Court hearing visa fraud charges against her even as she got her accreditation to the UN headquarters.
 
Khobragade, who was arrested on December 12 in New York, had been transferred by the government to its mission to the UN with a view to giving her full diplomatic immunity. Her accreditation is expected to be followed by some paperwork at the US State Department for which India has already submitted the papers.
 
Simultaneously, her exemption from personal appearance in the court is a significant step towards a way out of the stand-off created by her arrest and strip search which had evoked a sharp reaction by the Indian government which has been pressing the US to drop the charges against her unconditionally.
 
39-year-old Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer posted as Deputy Consul General in New York, was taken into custody on visa fraud charges as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a $250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.
 
Meanwhile, the US embassy here has sought extension of today's deadline for filing the visa and other key details of the Indians employed by it and its officers. This information includes salary being paid to domestic help employed by US diplomats in India.
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