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India to back Krittika's lawsuit against NYC


Arunima,CNN-IBN
May 26, 2011 at 09:55pm IST

New Delhi: Indian diplomat Debashish Biswas's daughter Krittika has sued the City of new york for 1.5 million dollars - for wrongful arrest. Krittika, 18, was arrested for sending obscene emails to her teachers. The charges were later dropped and she was released.

Krittika Biswas's ordeal may have been life changing for her and her family but the US government is firm on its stand that she did not enjoy any diplomatic immunity.

ALSO SEE No immunity for Indian girl who sued NYC: US

"The Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs provides that consular officers are not liable, warrant is required. But that provision does not apply to family members to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a felony where a court. My understanding is that as a family member of consular officer she does not enjoy immunity from jurisdiction or inviolability. "

Sources in the Indian government too acknowledge that as per convention a consul's family member does not enjoy immunity but the government is concerned about her.

ALSO SEE Indian diplomat's daughter sues New York city

On Thursday Meera Shankar, Indian ambassador to US, met Home Minister P Chidambaram and assured that Indian government will stand by Krittika if she needs help.

Shanker said, "There is a concern in the way she was treated - we have expressed our concern to the US."

Family members of the diplomats do carry diplomatic passports, he acknowledged but diplomatic immunity does not apply to them, he noted.

"This is different for consular officers versus those in the embassy. There are different categories," Toner said. At a news conference in New York, Krittika Biswas, daughter of the vice counsel at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan, Debashish Biswas, claimed that she was ill-treated in prison.

Krittika Biswas has claimed that she was wrongly arrested for allegedly sending obscene emails to her teachers.

It is now for the US court to decide if the arrest of Krittika and subsequent action of authorities is illegal as Krittika alleges or if the evidence justifies the treatment meted out.

But both New Delhi and Washington prefer to avoid a full blown diplomatic row just ahead of major talks between the two countries when Home Minister Chidambaram meets homeland security chief Janet Napolitano.

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