“It is under review. We cannot predict when that review will be complete,” said a State Department spokesperson yesterday in response to a question on the status of the UN request to grant full diplomatic status to Khobragade.
The State Department had received her application from the United Nations in New York on December 20. Normally, the State Department takes a decision on this very quickly, but this time the US is taking an unusually long time.
“We cannot compare this to previous requests as each request is evaluated on its own merits,” the spokesperson said.
Khobragade was arrested on December 12 on charges of visa fraud and misrepresentation. At the time of her arrest, she was Deputy Consul General at the Indian Consulate in New York.
The US says, in this capacity, she did not had full diplomatic immunity. Days after her arrest, the Indian government has transferred Khobragade to the permanent mission of India to the United Nations (UN), with the view that this would give her the necessary diplomatic immunity from arrest.
India has strongly objected to her arrest, and in protest has withdrawn many of the diplomatic privileges granted to the American diplomats in India.
As one enters the New Year, the Indian diplomat continues to remain in the US without diplomatic immunity. She is currently on bail bond of USD 250,000 and her passport is in possession of the court.