Visa fraud case: US dismisses case against Devyani Khobragade
A New York court on Wednesday dismissed criminal charges against diplomat Devyani Khobragade that had precipitated a crisis in relations between India and the US.
“Khobragade’s motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground of diplomatic immunity is granted,” said judge Shira A. Scheindlin, directing the court to close the case.The court also terminated Khobragade’s bail conditions and exonerated her bond. And withdrew any warrant of arrest issued against her in connection with the case.
But, the court said, “if the acts charged in the indictment were not ‘performed in the exercise of official functions,’ then there is currently no bar to a new indictment”.Khobragade left for India on January 9, under the protection of diplomatic immunity within hours of her indictment. Her husband and daughters joined her later.
US attorney Preet Bharara’s office had slapped charges of visa fraud and making false statements against her in connection with the employment of her housekeeper Sangeeta Richard.Khobragade was arrested from outside her children’s school on December 12 and strip-searched at a holding facility before being produced before a court.
She was out on bail in a few hours.