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Diplomatic Immunity

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This was bound to happen, after the recent events involving Anil Verma and Alok Ranjan Jha. IE reports:

With the recent behaviour of some Indian diplomats causing public embarrassment, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has warned envoys that there will be zero tolerance for incidents of sexual misconduct and domestic violence.

“The ministry will deal with incidents of sexual misconduct and domestic violence with zero tolerance and will take punitive measures against offending officials,” wrote Rao in a note to the heads of missions on Friday. “Any act of domestic violence or sexual misconduct will necessitate immediate recall Zero tolerance for domestic violence, sexual misconduct: MEA warns envoys of the officer and his dependents.”

Asserting that Indian Foreign Service officials had always conducted themselves with “discretion and probity”, she said the code of conduct should be followed strictly by Indian diplomats.

Notably, the MEA has not said that a diplomat who is accused of, or found guilty of, such misconduct may be tried in the host country. This principle is under test in the unrelated case of the US diplomat in Pakistan accused of a double murder.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

January 31, 2011 at 3:50 am

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