Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest in New York: A timeline (Agencies)
She has since been transferred to the Indian Mission to the UN to give her full immunity.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid maintained his conciliatory tone when he termed the relationship ‘extremely exceptionally valuable’, a sentiment reciprocated by the US State Department which said, "It is important to preserve and protect our partnership.”
Khurshid told reporters in New Delhi, "We are in a conversation at different levels. Let the conversation go to its logical conclusion."
In Washington, a State Department Spokesperson said that the US was ‘continuing the conversation with our Indian counterparts privately’ to resolve the situation arising out of the arrest and strip search of Khobragade in a visa fraud case.
Asking the US to ‘understand the value of the relationship’, Khurshid asked whether it was ‘unreasonable’ for India to expect Washington to allow its diplomat to serve with dignity.
The State Department maintained that even if there was a change in the status of Khobragade from being Deputy Consul General with limited immunity to being posted to the UN mission where she gets full immunity, there would not be a ‘clean slate’ from the past charges.
However, the US assertion that retroactive immunity is not possible flies in the face of precedents such as the one involving a Saudi prince in 1982 when he was accused of holding an Egyptian woman against her will in Dade County in Florida state.
Observers say that at the time of the incident, Prince Abdulaziz had no diplomatic credentials. But three weeks later, the State Department granted Abdulaziz and his family full diplomatic immunity.
The Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Dade County's counter claims and held that the Prince had been eligible for diplomatic status at the time of the incident even if he had not received it.
The Court ruling, in effect, endorsed the concept of retroactive immunity.
Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest in New York: A timeline