"Wife-beater" diplomat: matter to be probed on his return: MEA

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) Having refused to waivediplomatic immunity of its London-based senior diplomat AnilVerma accused of beating his wife, government today said thematter will be "thoroughly investigated" and action takenaccordingly.

"Ministry of External Affairs has taken a serious viewin the matter. The matter has been looked into actively andwith all the seriousness that it deserves. The officer andmembers of the family have been transferred back to theheadquarters. Once the officer is back, the matter will bethoroughly investigated and acted upon appropriately," MEA''sofficial spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters here.

He was asked if Verma will be coming back with his wifeand what action will be taken against him.

Verma, who is Minister (Economic) in the High Commission,is alleged to have attacked his wife after a heated argumentlast month, according to ''Daily Mail''. Verma had alsoreportedly sought immunity from prosecution after beingquestioned by the British police over claims that he assaultedhis wife in December last year.

After the incident was reported, Britain had demandedwaiving immunity of the diplomat or his transfer from Londonand action against him under Indian laws but India chose thesecond option, according to sources.

Terming the incident as "unacceptable", Prakash said"that there is no question of condoning domestic violencewhich is totally unacceptable. Once the officer is back, thematter will be thoroughly investigated and acted uponappropriately. The laws of the land would take care of any actthat needs to be taken care of consequent to the inquiry."

On the role of Deputy High Commissioner Rajesh Prasad,who according to the British newspaper had threatened Verma''swife, Paromita, with deportation to India, the Spokespersonindicated that the High Commission only encouraged both sidesto resolve their marital discords, which was the best way ofdoing it.

"The High Commission has the responsibility towards thewelfare and wellbeing of the officer and the members of thefamily. I have already mentioned that domestic violence isunacceptable and there is no question of condoning.

"At the same time, the HC had encouraged both sides tosort out any marital issues between the two of them, which isbest way of doing that," he said.

"Verma and members of his family have been transferredback to the headquarters. They will be returning soon. Andonce they return to India, the matter will be investigated andappropriate action under the law of the land will be taken,"Prakash added.

Verma''s wife has accused him of beating her and went intoa hiding with her five-year-old child, fearing for her safetyand reportedly moved an application seeking permission to stayback in Britain on humanitarian grounds.

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