4:15 pm: BJP says its no victory
BJP on Friday described the indictment of diplomat Devyani Khobragade in the US as a 'defeat' for India, saying the criminal case against her would remain in America.
"Bringing Khobragade is our defeat not a win because a case will be on against her in the US. The US has decided. So we somehow are bringing her back. It's clear that there was no effect of India's arguments on the US," BJP leader and former External Affairs minister Yashwant Sinha told the media.
Sinha, who had earlier advocated prosecution of American diplomats with same sex partners in India as a tit-for-tat measure for US action against Khobragade, again pushed for action against US officials.
"How many officials of the US embassy do wrong things and no curb has been put on them. So many suggestions came...," he said, adding that it is imperative at times to explain in a language the other country understands.
"Somewhere or the other we are not taking the matter seriously. Whether it is America or any other country it is necessary for India to explain that we will do the same with you," he said.
11:55 am: Khobragade's help tells others like her to fight for their rights
In her first public statement, Sangeeta said she had decided to come to the US hoping to work for a few years to support her family and had planned to later return to India.
"I never thought that things would get so bad here, that I would work so much that I did not have time to sleep or eat or have time to myself," she said in a statement released by the anti-trafficking group Safe Horizon, which is representing her in the case against Khobragade.
She said she had tried to return to India because of the treatment meted out to her while she was working for Khobragade.
"Because of this treatment, I requested that I return to India but that request was denied."
"I would like to tell other domestic workers who are suffering as I did - you have rights and do not let anyone exploit you," Sangeeta said.
11:00 am: Devyani Khobragade's father thanks Indian govt
Retired IAS officer Uttam Khobragade thanked all political parties, the media and the people of India for their month-long support to Devyani and his family.
Only the Indian judicial system can adjudicate cases such as Devyani's, Khobragade said.
"One thing is clear from this incident. When the country comes together for a cause, justice is inevitable," he said. "Devyani is a proud Indian, she preferred the dignity and believed that the nation's sovereignty is more important than her personal comfort."
9.00 am: Devyani Khobragade to be posted in Delhi
Devyani Khobragade who has left for India after being asked to leave the US, has been transferred to Delhi. She will now be attached with the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi.
The news was confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs.
8. 10 am: Devyani leaves for India, confirms MEA
The MEA has confirmed that Devyani Khobragade has left for India. According to reports, Devyani will take up duties at the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi, but her children will remain in the US for now.
In a statement to PTI, Devyani said, "All charges against me are false and baseless."
In a statement issued after the hearing, Khobragade's lawyer Daniel Arshack said his client "is pleased to be returning to her country. Her head is held high. She knows she has done no wrong and she looks forward to assuring that the truth is known".
He said Khobragade denies the "baseless" charges brought by the federal prosecutor Bharara's office and "looks forward to providing the proof that over and over the investigators and prosecutors in this case have been sloppy and wrong."
He said Khobragade did not make any false statements and she paid her domestic worker what she was entitled to be paid.
"Although the domestic (worker) came to work here on a short term contract which required her to return to India at the end of her employment as a result of the false claims and shoddy investigation, she and her family now enjoy permanent residency in the United States," he said.
"The investigators in this case made serious errors as result of not fully investigating the facts. We look forward to providing the evidence of their blunders," Arshack added.
Meanwhile at a court hearing late Thursday involving only lawyers in the case, U.S. District Judge Shira A Scheindlin said it seemed odd that bail conditions continued to contain language that Khobragade could not leave New York when the Department of State had ordered her to do so.
"If she wants to go from India to China or something, it is not anybody's business right now. To say you may not travel outside the Southern District is kind of silly at this point," the judge said. "They have ordered her out and agreed she has diplomatic immunity now."
The judge said Khobragade "is permitted to obey the order of the State Department without any adverse consequence to her and her sureties," though the she said Khobragade could be arrested and forced to answer the indictment if she returned to the United States without diplomatic immunity.
8. 00 am: US indicts Devyani, asks her to leave as India won’t waive immunity
Senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade has been indicted for visa fraud and making false statements but can leave the US as she has been accorded diplomatic immunity.
The charges against 39-year-old Khobragade will remain and she will have to face trial, if she returns to the US without diplomatic immunity, US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a letter to District Judge Shira Scheindlin.
Bharara said the grand jury has indicted the diplomat on two counts of visa fraud and making false statements in connection with the visa application of her domestic help Sangeeta Richard.
"There will not need to be an arraignment on the Indictment scheduled at this time. We understand that the defendant was very recently accorded diplomatic immunity status," Bharara said in his letter.
"Therefore, the charges will remain pending until such time as she can be brought to Court to face the charges, either through a waiver of immunity or the defendant?s return to the United States in a non-immune status. The time between now and the time that she is able to be brought before the Court is excluded automatically under the Speedy Trial Act, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 3161(h)(3)(A), which provides for the exclusion of any period of delay resulting from the unavailability of the defendant," he said.
India meanwhile refused the United States' request to waive the diplomatic immunity of senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade after the US accepted her request for UN accreditation, sources said. "We have accepted the Indians request to accredit (Devyanai Khobragade to the United Nations)," a US government official told PTI. He acknowledged that not accepting to this request of UN accreditation would have been very difficult for the United States.
End of updates for 9 Jan
9. 30 am: India worries over US delay of G-visa for Devyani as court looms
More than 20 days after it was submitted by the UN, the US continues to review the visa application of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade which would give her full diplomatic immunity. The unusual delay in granting Khobragade a G-visa, which would prevent her from any further arrest, has raised anxiety levels among Indian officials as the next day of court hearing fast approaches in New York next week.
"We've received the paperwork. It's under review. I don't have any other details on it, or updates," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.
9.00 am: US judge rejects Khobragade's plea to extend indictment deadline, but lawyer still hopeful
A US judge has denied Devyani Khobragade's request to extend the January 13 deadline for her indictment, in a major setback for India's efforts to extricate the diplomat from visa fraud charges.
Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York said adjournment of the date will not grant her the "relief she seeks" regarding plea negotiations between her and the government to resolve the case.
Under US laws, Khobragade has to be indicted within 30 days of her arrest or summons in connection with the charges. She was arrested on December 12 on charges of lying on the visa application of her domestic help Sangeeta Richard, and reneging on wages that were promised to her.
The judge said any adjournment of the preliminary hearing date will not have any impact on the filing of the indictment.
However, the lawyer of Devyani Khobragade is not losing hope after a US court denied the Indian diplomat's request to extend the January 13 deadline for a hearing in her visa fraud case, saying he is "considering" other options. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York earlier denied Khobragade's request to extend the January 13 deadline for a preliminary hearing, the date by which she has to be indicted.
9. 00 am: Devyani Khobragade row is exposing flaws in India-US ties
India ordered the United States on Wednesday to close down an embassy club for expatriate Americans in New Delhi, escalating a diplomatic row between the two nations that has brought faultlines in their ties out in the open.
Meanwhile, the US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has decided he will no longer travel to India as his planned trip has become the latest casualty of the Devyani Khobragade row which has snowballed into a full-blown spat.
Both sides have said the relationship is important and will not be allowed to deteriorate - Washington needs New Delhi on its side as U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan and it engages with China.
Millions of Indians have made the United States their home and bilateral trade is worth about $100 billion a year. But the row over Khobragade, which should not have been more than an easily resolved irritant, is just not going away and has plunged the two countries into a crisis described by Indian media as the worst since New Delhi tested a nuclear device in 1998.
"I'm a little worried it may spin out of control," said Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian ambassador to the United States who has also served as India's top diplomat and is now retired.
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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2014 16:44:55 IST