Friday, December 27, 2013

Let's the truth be revealed

The detention of Indian consular employee Devyani Khobragade in New York making hue and cry in India. Devyani Khobragade alleged that she hired Sangeeta Richard, 42 an Indian national from the state of Kerala, in November 2012 as a nanny and domestic servant, and arranged for a US visa to bring Richard to New York. She worked in U.S. holding A-3 Visa, which is a non-immigrant Visa and permits the holder to work anywhere in U.S.
 It has been reported that the mother-in-law of Sangeeta Richard was employed with a senior US diplomat, who was posted in India between 2002-2007. It is also reported that the father-in-law of Richard is still working in the US embassy in India. Sangeetha Richards is reportedly missing in U.S. since June 21, 2013 and her passport is revoked since then. On a complaint lodged by Devayani, a Delhi Court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Sangeetha Richards on November 19, 2013, which was forwarded to US embassy for her immediate arrest.
 Philip Richards along with two children went to U.S. on December 10, 2013, two days before Devayani's arrest, after obtaining T-Visa from U.S. which permits victims of human trafficking and their close relatives to stay back in U.S. with a condition to help the law enforcement agencies to catch hold the perpetrators
India Media claimed that the cost of air tickets for Philip Richards, and two children Jennifer and Jatin, was born by U.S.Embassy.
Based on the charges filed by a special agent with the US Department of StateBureau of Diplomatic Security Khobragade was arrested by US Department of State'Diplomatic Security Service on December 12, 2013 around 9:30 a.m. after dropping off her daughters at school on West 97th Street in Manhattan.[
On December 18, 2013, she was transferred by the Government of India to the U.N. mission in New York, subject to clearance from the United States Department of State, which entitled her full diplomatic immunity while her former post only entitled her to consular immunity.
Few points that is worth noticable:
Ø  Devayani owns more than 30 acres of agricultural lands in Maharastra, and a flat in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society, Mumbai.

Ø  The charges against Khoborde allege that she committed visa fraud willfully and under penalty of perjury under Title 28, United States Code, Section 1746. It further alleges that Khobragade submitted an employment contract to the U.S. Department of State, in support of a visa application filed by Khobragade for another individual, which she knew to contain materially false and fraudulent statements. The visa fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and the false statements charge carries a maximum sentence of five years.
Ø  The complaint alleges that Khobragade and Sangeeta Richard verbally agreed in India to a starting salary of 25,000 rupees per month, plus an additional 5,000 rupees for overtime. At that time 30,000 rupees is equivalent to $573.07 U.S. dollars or about $3.31 an hour assuming a 40 hour work week. Khobragade signed a written contract with Richard which stipulated her hourly salary in the U.S. would be $9.75 and that the normal working hours per week shall be 40. This contract was submitted to the U.S. government as part of the visa application where Khobragade stated Richard would be making "around $4,500 per month". The complaint claims that Khobragade instructed Richard not to say anything to the embassy interviewer about being paid 30,000 rupees per month, but to say she would be paid $9.75 and hour and work 40 hours a week.

Ø  The complaint then alleges that Khobragade asked Richard to sign another employment contract shortly before leaving India, which was not to be revealed to the U.S. government. This second contract allegedly says she was to be paid an expected salary of Rs. 30,000 per month with no mention of sick days or vacation time.

Ø  On his part, the diplomat's father Uttam Khobragade had told this correspondent very early on in the fracas that there was no way his daughter could have promised the housekeeper $4500 a month when that was approximately her own salary. The agreed amount was $9.75 per hour for a 40-hour work week (amounting to $1560 for four weeks) of which Rs 30,000 was paid in Indian rupees to her family in India and the rest to the housekeeper in New York as living expenses.

This statement is utter nonsense. A daughter of IAS would leave for U.S just because she will earn $4500 a month when she owns a flat and 30 acre land in  India?

Ø  Ms Richard's lawyer, meanwhile, welcomed the action against the diplomat. Speaking to NDTV, Dana Sussman also said that "India tried to silence and intimidate my client and her family." 
Where is Ms. Sangeeta Richard ?
Indian media sources claimed that after her arrest, she was handcuffed, strip searched, DNA swabbed and subjected to a cavity search.
However Preet BhararaU.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, claimed that after her arrest, Khobragade was not handcuffed or her phone seized
For about two hours after her arrest, she was allowed to make numerous phone calls from inside the arresting officers' car because it was cold outside. The arresting officers even brought her coffee and offered to get her food. After arranging for child care for her children, Khobragade was taken to the federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan around noon where she was taken into the custody of U.S. Marshals Service and strip searched by a female Deputy Marshal in a private setting.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service, stated that Khobragade was strip searched but not subjected to a cavity search. Per agency regulations, a strip search can include a "visual inspection" of body cavities. Credic-Barrett also stated that anyone taken to holding cells of the New York federal courthouse is automatically subjected to a strip search if they are placed among other prisoners.
At the federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan, Khobragade was presented before a U.S. magistrate judge and released at 4 p.m. the same day on a $250,000 bond after pleading not guilty and surrendering her passport.

India’s reaction :
On December 17, 2013, Delhi Police removed security barricades on the road outside the US Embassy in New Delhi, citing need for improvement of traffic flow in that area.
India has demanded an unconditional apology from the US government and asked the details of the salaries of all domestic help, gardeners and other staff employed by US consulates in India to check for inconsistency or frauds.
 Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati complained that the Indian government was not reacting strongly enough, asserting that it was insufficiently supportive to Khobragade because she belonged to a Dalit caste.
That is again very laughable. So Miss Mayawati always search a chance to see a Dailt every where? And how childish is her statement.
What Vienna Convention says:
The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations outlines the rules of diplomatic law, ratified by Canada in 1966 and implemented by the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act. Rules for the appointment of foreign representatives;
  • the inviolability of mission premises;
  • protection for the diplomat and his or her family from any form of arrest or detention;
  • protection of all forms of diplomatic communication;
  • the basic principle of exemption from taxation;
  • immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction, with limited exceptions; and
  • that diplomats must respect the laws of the host state.
Did not she break the law ?
Devyani did not submit a single document or made any statement to the US authorities for the visa of Ms Sangeeta Richard though here father IAS Uttam Khobragade said in an email to this correspondent soon after the controversy erupted. "The said agreement/employment contract which is being referred to, is not a statement under oath. It is a proper contract signed between two Indian citizens in Delhi, between two parties, and any violation thereof is in domain of civil law and no criminality is involved. Moreover it is an accepted principle of the law that person who submits the document is responsible."

If the case goes to trial — and it might never come to that — then the housekeeper Sangeeta Richard herself could be under the lens for misrepresenting and claiming a $4500 per month salary, which is way beyond the $9.75 per hour for 40 weeks she contracted with the diplomat. There could also be questions about how she was paid Rs 30,000 per month in India through her family, although such arrangement is said to be common among domestic staff attached to diplomats so that they bankroll their families in India and also avoid taxes, wire transfer fees etc.

Mr Bharara also said in his statement, "One wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?" He was referring to Sangeeta Richard, the domestic help that Ms Khobragade is accused by the US of exploiting.
They expect that whoever comes in their country they must follow the rules there. And when laws are equal for rich and poor though we here in India says same but how much true it is we can take practical examples in our daily lives. I do not think US did any thing wrong morally and legally, they want that whoever comes in their country should not be ill-treated. So did they took the case of Sangeeta Richard.
I appreciate their laws. Take an example of our Indian rules. We stand in a queue for so long and a rich politicians or any powerful man over take us , cast their vote before us and we have no issues.
Every Indian knows how domestic servants are treated in India but tell me how many of them go to police and police investigate the case as US does?
Here common man handcuffed, police do our visual inspection. That is good for security reasons but is not is also true that we easily let the rich go with out any inspection because they are businessmen, actors, actress and politicians. I appreciate in US laws are equal.
We makes hue and cry when our politicians are inspected on US Airports. Should we do? May be yes or may be no! But then why we remain so liberal when US politicians and leaders enter in our land we do not investigate them. Why we do not do like Brazil?
Now diplomat has two charges against her: Visa fraud and Low Wages Payment. If she is actually guilty, the episode would turn out to be more shameful for India than US. If mistreatment happened then Indian could ask for apologizes. Why we are saying that drop out all charges against her? US does not have two stories of same version, two laws for rich and poor, common man and politician. If they stand in a queue their leaders also stand in a queue not like ours when Sonia and Sheila madam came late and cast her vote before.
Let us wait and watch how much reality the case holds from both side ( In Ms. Devyani Khobragade and Sangeeta Richard’s case). Are not both looking for protection? Why being partial then? Let us come the truth without any bias and let the case investigate.

There are few points in Sangeeta's case too eg : Why U.S paid for her air tickets? Is she really a CIA agent ? Is it really a untold spy story ? 

Well let’s truth reveals for both one is a maid and another one is a powerful diplomat.

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