Diplomat arrest: Does “standard procedure” mean Class 3 treatment?

Diplomat arrest
New Delhi, Dec 17: Five days after the arrest of the Indian diplomat to the US, Devyani Khobragade, disgracing details of the procedures followed for the arrest emerged. While the diplomat was arrested in public view while she was dropping her children to school, she was strip searched by the marshals and locked up with hard core criminals like sex workers and drug peddlers.

If not a humiliation for a woman, these are embarassing details for India that has strong bilateral relations with the US. Legal experts in India and in the US explain how the procedure for white collar diplomats in a foreign country, especiallty in the US, is.

The type of arrests in the US can be categorised into three parts:

1. Best type of arrest: Usually done in case of diplomats and other foreign representatives who have been booked on legal charges in the US, before trial, this is considered to be the best and the most professional way to arrest. Here, the police seeks an appointment with the diplomat and arrests the concerned person at the latter's home at a suitable time.

2. Medium type of arrest: The police comes at the offender's home and arrests the same at 6 am in the morning.

3. The worst type of arrest: Applied on hard core criminals like drug peddlers, burglers, sex workers and other anti-social elements, this type of arrest takes place in public view.

Incidentally, Devyani was arrested as per the procedures of the third category. Furthermore, the US authorities evaded any questions on the above-mentioned procedures, saying that it was a protocol to hand over the offender to the Marshals who will do the needful. (Read)

Meanwhile, a tension had boiled up between the US and the Indian foreign ministries where the latter has boycotted meetings scheduled ahead with the former. Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh had summoned American ambassador in New Delhi, Nancy Powell, and lodged a strong protest over what India has described as "unacceptable treatment" meted out to its senior consular officer.

Back in India, leaders believe that this is a direct insult at the Indian government and an intentional one too.

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