India blasts US over treatment of its diplomats

By AFP
Published: June 23, 2011

.The maid, 45-year-old Santosh Bhardwaj, filed a lawsuit on Monday in a US court against India's consul general Prabhu Dayal and his family, claiming she was under-paid, sexually harassed and prevented from travelling.

NEW YORK: India has reacted angrily to a court case lodged against a diplomat in New York who is accused of sexually harassing his house maid and treating her like a slave.

The maid, 45-year-old Santosh Bhardwaj, filed a lawsuit on Monday in a US court against India’s consul general Prabhu Dayal and his family, claiming she was under-paid, sexually harassed and prevented from travelling.

India’s foreign ministry said late Wednesday it was “disappointed and deeply concerned” that Indian diplomats and their family members were being apparently targeted in the United States.

Earlier this year, the daughter of another diplomat in New York was detained by police for more than 24 hours on suspicion of sending abusive emails to her school teacher. She was later cleared of wrongdoing.

“We are disappointed and surprised at the allegations against the consul general of India in New York, Mr Prabhu Dayal, by his former employee, which appear to be motivated and baseless,” said ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash.

“Such actions impede the ability of the individuals in question to discharge their official responsibilities and cause untold mental harassment and anguish and they cannot be dismissed lightly.”

Dayal, in New York since 2008, has previously served as ambassador to Mexico and Kuwait.

In January, the Indian foreign ministry recalled a diplomat posted at the British High Commission in London who was accused of beating his wife.

Last year, another diplomat posted in Islamabad was arrested by Indian authorities on suspicion of spying for Pakistan.

Reader Comments (27)

  • sam
    Jun 23, 2011 - 2:36PM

    OMG even their diplomats like to whineee…Recommend

  • terex
    Jun 23, 2011 - 3:06PM

    India should arrest one of american embassy official and do tit for tat ,so that they learn to behave.Recommend

  • Jun 23, 2011 - 3:46PM

    To all paid Indian bloggers:

    Doosray key Aaankh may para baal bhee Nazar Aa Jataa hay
    Laikin apnay annkh may para howaa Shahteer bhee nazar nahee aata

    I see no blog from you guys as an Indian Diplomat is involved in such a nefarious activity which speaks of its high-handedness. He should take a que and lesson from IMF chief executive (who was also involved in such a case and had to resign)and must resign from Foreign office immediately.

    Hain Kwaakeb kuch aur Nazar Aatay hain Kutch.

    Regards

    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

    Johannesburg – South AfricaRecommend

  • Tony Singh
    Jun 23, 2011 - 6:34PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    Read the article properly.
    1. The NYPD has been sued by the Indian student to the tune of $1.5million on false arrest.
    2. The british deplomat has been called back and criminal proceedings are initiated against him.
    3. At least Indian law works somewhere. And yes our govt has guts to call spade a spade. Can you say the same for yours?Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jun 23, 2011 - 6:53PM

    If that guy has been accused of sexually assaulting the maid then that needs to be probed.Recommend

  • Gin
    Jun 23, 2011 - 7:01PM

    If he is guilty then he should face the music. We Indians do not believe in conspiracy theories and start blaming foreign intelligence agencies like you guys.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 23, 2011 - 8:22PM

    The American govt doesn’t have any control over a citizens right/ability to file a law suit – end of story. On the other hand – diplomatic immunity will override any court judgement so it’s pretty much a waste of time.Recommend

  • mahmood
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:22PM

    Appears that Pakistan and India both need to brush up on the concept of diplomatic immunity. Anyone legitimately covered by diplomatic immunity is pretty much bullet proof but that doesn’t mean that the American public can’t sue or register complaint with the police – it does mean that the diplomat can ignore the courts ruling. The USA govt can’t prevent an American citizen from suing anyone. The last recourse against diplomatic immunity is to send the person back home.Recommend

  • sumeet
    Jun 23, 2011 - 10:37PM

    @saleem siddiqui,i have never seen a big hate monger than you.what do you mean by paid indian bloggers?we come here on our own wish.we are not in pakistan where everything can be done by paying bucks.
    this diplomats should know that they are representing india in any foreign country.they should correct their conduct and obey the rule of the law of their respective country.Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Jun 23, 2011 - 11:23PM

    @Gin:
    @Paras Vikmani:
    Surely friends. The charges must be investigated and the guilty must be punished.
    .
    But he has to be tried under India laws as he has diplomatic immunity in US.
    .
    Recommend

  • Jun 24, 2011 - 12:17AM

    @Ashutosh:
    Why Indian Law. When India implicated Qassab and Pakistan requested India to hand him over to Pakistan so that he may be investigated and tried under Pakistan Law – India refused.

    So charity should began from home. What you do should also suffer a similar situation.Recommend

  • Dinesh Chetti
    Jun 24, 2011 - 12:46AM

    I believe that what US doing is right. They do not accuse a person without any reason and their legal system is very much transparent, even it involves the president of US. But in the Indian sub-continent things are different, people who are rich and powerful can get away easily. High ranked officials think they are above the law and can never be punished, still there are rules to be followed in a alien country. Indian government should consider sending people with good moral track record to foreign countries after these kind of repeated incidents. They should not say do not take legal action or doing tit for tat. Let them do justice and follow rules of our law for foreign diplomats in India. Do not do favor and expect from them as well. I know that there is some sort of legal immunity and that is only with some conditions, not for domestic crimes. I am an Indian and feel bad about the view of the government. Government should be a role model for citizens and should not send a wrong signal.Recommend

  • Shock Horror
    Jun 24, 2011 - 1:10AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    You conveniently forget that Prabhu Dayal is an Indian diplomat in US. Hence International Laws and Conventions apply. By the way, I do not have any sympathy with Prabhu Dayal. Far from it. Are you telling us, and do you have any authority to do so, that Kasab was a Pakistani diplomat in India? It appears you are confused and mixing apples with oranges.Recommend

  • anuj mehta
    Jun 24, 2011 - 2:05AM

    @ Dr. Saleem Siddiqi…….We didnt know that Qassab has diplomatic immunity……..Recommend

  • Singh
    Jun 24, 2011 - 3:41AM

    Women is trying to get battered maid to get get green card to so she can stay here & get her family here too. She never complaint before when she was serving with this family from last five year in other country. It is all about American dream. She is here so she is trying to achieve that by any hook or crook. I know because I am here.
    2nd. NYPD trying to get even with Indian consulate in NY to put some stress to withdraw law suit. Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jun 24, 2011 - 12:20PM

    @ Ashutosh

    But the crime has been committed in US.
    So obviously my heart he must be tried there if he has done something wrong.Recommend

  • Chacha
    Jun 24, 2011 - 3:06PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: try Kasab under Pakistani Law ! What a joke ! The highjackers of Indian airlines flight are roaming around in Pakistan giving speeches – highjacking is a crime even in Pakistan, but they will never be tried there. If we give Kasab to you, yu will garland him (like Qadri) and free him. AQ Khan admitted on TV to the worst crime – nuclear proliferation – and you guys pardoned him.Recommend

  • kamal
    Jun 24, 2011 - 6:29PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi,Kasab is your diplomat??How can you compare Kassab with Diplomat??Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Jun 24, 2011 - 11:27PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    OH!
    Was Kasab a Pakistani diplomat ? The fact is that your dear nations denies that he is a Pakistani at the first place. To prove their point (and to save themselves from global humiliation) the authorities had forced Kasab’s parents and other close relatives into hiding …
    .
    Dear Learned Doctor, such immunity is available to diplomats only and in this case Mr. Bhardwaj is a diplomat.
    .
    @Paras Vikmani:
    I believe that I answered your question too. Even if the crime is committed in US then too an India diplomat had to be tried in India and under Indian law.
    US at the most may withdraw his immunity and order him to leave in specified time …
    .
    This applies to any diplomat in any country ..Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2011 - 9:52AM

    @Ashutosh:
    If he is Diplomat he must behave like a diplomat and should not start doing this monkey business in a country where he has been assigned at a responsible Diplomatic job to perform and to represent a country “India”. We were all ashamed of his act and you should also be.

    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

    Johannesburg
    South AfricaRecommend

  • Rock
    Jun 25, 2011 - 10:38AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: Thanks for reminding our diplomat’s behaviour and the things. we are so greatful to you. US and Indian government will look into it. As you compare Kasab with a Indian diplomats. I would like to know what sort of imunity kasab does have? and how come as a south african you are so sensitive to kasab? Also please guide pakistani diplomat they also need lots of advice and coaching. I am glad you are here to fix all diplomatic problem of entire world. Thanks doctor.Recommend

  • Rock
    Jun 25, 2011 - 10:44AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: The last thing I missed as a south african why are you ashamed of the behaviour of Indian diplomat? I am realy surprised. Are you ashamed of the act of any diplomat around the world whether the person is south african or not? the big diofference is you have left India for your personal goal and we are building India. We will take care of the foolish persons whether he is diplomat or not it’s none of your business. Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2011 - 11:58AM

    @Rock:
    I being in South Africa is very concerned about India because Mahatma Gandhi spend very many years over here. He was so amused with the South African Parliment building in Pretoria that he had asked the builder (a gora) to build the same type of building in India.

    So the parliment building you see in New Delhi is a true copy of South African Parliment building. So why should not I worry for the India being a copy cat. Dont you have better architects than a gora in India to have better innovative design Indian buildings more specifically parliment building – which is said to be a symbol of Democracy.

    Regarding Kasab, first of all it is not proved that he is a Pakistani. Even for argument sake it is believed that he is a Pakistani, he should be allowed to be investigated by Pakistan and more appropriately, handed over to Pakistan for the International law to be honoured. Just beating the bush that he is Pakistani and torturing him to extract statements of your own choice is not a justice and is not acceptable. Better India should hand him over to International Court of Justice than we will see what is the actual story behind with all such drama to defame Pakistan. By the way all fingers are not equal. Goods and bads are in every society / country. If someone is proved to have done a crime, he must be punished but in accordance with International law and norm.

    You must be reading and watching in the media these days what our social worker Ansar Burney did to save Indian captive in the Suez. These Indian captives openly giving statements over TV that Indian Government had done NOTHING for them. They are out of this ordeal only because of Pakistan Government efforts. Pakistan has a big heart so be appreciative and all Indians including yourself must follow the suit.

    Regards

    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    Johannesburg
    South Africa.Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Jun 25, 2011 - 12:29PM

    I still believe he must be tried in US only.Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Jun 26, 2011 - 12:20AM

    @Paras Vikmani:
    Sorry friend ! It is international law.
    .
    Granting privileges and immunities to diplomatic envoys is a long-standing norm of international law. The formal sending of envoys as representatives of Nation States may be traced back to the practice of ancient Greece. The ambassadors exchanged between the members of the Amphictyonic League were regarded as inviolable. Similar practices can also be found in the States of ancient India or in the Roman Empire.
    .
    These practices, established on a customary basis, were codified in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Countries which have recognized the Convention believe that such practices contribute to the development of friendly relations among nations, irrespective of their differing constitutional and social systems. This view is reflected in paragraph 3 of the preamble to the Vienna Convention.
    .
    The purpose of diplomatic privileges, immunities and exemptions, as described in the Convention, is not to benefit individuals themselves but to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions that represent States.
    .
    It is true that diplomats are exempt from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving State. However, this exemption may be waived by the sending State. Moreover, the immunity of a diplomat from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him/her from the jurisdiction of the sending State.
    .
    It is also within the discretion of the receiving State to declare any member of the diplomatic staff of a mission persona non grata (or unwanted person). This may be done at any time and there is no obligation to explain such a decision. In these situations, the sending State, as a rule, would recall the person or terminate his/her function with the mission.
    .
    Thus, the Vienna Convention provides for specific measures that can be taken by both the sending and receiving States in cases of misuse or abuse of diplomatic privileges and immunities. On the whole, diplomatic privileges and immunities have served as efficient tools facilitating relations between States.
    .
    No UN Member State has so far proposed rescinding the Convention or rewriting its provisions. Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Jun 26, 2011 - 12:22AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    Please go through my address to Mr. Paras Vikmani.

    Regards,Recommend

  • thomas koovalloor
    Jul 9, 2011 - 8:52AM

    The problem in the United states is that at the present situation any women can simply sue a man for harassment. There are so many weaknesses in the American law. Any lawyer can sue any one for harassment.Those who have some personal issues with their employers can do it well, and in most cases they will win. It is the duty of the defendant to prove his/her innocence. It may cost a life time of effort like Anand Jon’s case. But here the situation is different. Hon. Prabhu Dayal is a highly respected and decent man. This woman wanted to get rich quick, that’s why she preplanned every thing. Prabhu Dayal is the top ranking Diplomatic official at India’s Consulate and he is in charge of millions of Indians.As a highest ranking Diplomat he has the Diplomatic immunity under the International law ( Vienna Convention). If it happen to a low ranking American diplomat United States will definitely show its muscle to protect him/her. But what happened is that Indian government is still inferior to show its muscle to protect its own citizens. In my opinion this is not a single incident, there were so many incidents against the Indian citizens happened recently. Considering all this Indian government have to appoint a skilled legal team , very urgently, to handle the cases against all the Indian citizens in the U.S.

    Recommend

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