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Points to know about Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

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Points to know about Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
Bangalore, Dec 17: Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations inked in 1961 is an international accord that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries. It governs conduct of diplomats and defines the immunities they enjoy when serving in foreign countries.

[Read the full convention here]

These were framed after World War II to formalize the customary rules and make their application more uniform. But it is to be noted that the accord does not offer blanket protection for violation of local law.

Indian government is crying foul over the arrest and treatment of India's deputy consul general Devyani Khobragade, alleging that Article 41 of Vienna Convention was violated. Here are the thee Articles - 40, 41 and 43 - of the accord, which are significant in this case.

Article 40 of Vienna Convention speaks of 'protestion of consular officers'. It says that the receiving State shall treat consular officers with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on their person, freedom or dignity.

Also, Article 41 of the convention says that consular officers are not liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority. It further says that consular officers cannot be imprisoned or be subjected to any other form of restriction on their personal freedom, unless there is a judicial order.

In case, a consular officer is arrested, he/she should appear before the competent authorities and should be conducted with the 'respect due to him by reason of his official position', says the Convention.

Article 43 says that consular officers and consular employees shall not be amenable to the jurisdiction of the judicial or administrative authorities of the receiving State in respect of acts performed in the exercise of consular functions.

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