Agencies, New Delhi
A day after Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s lawyer contended that US authorities made a mistake in reading the papers submitted by her while applying for a visa for her maid Sangeeta Richard, sources here today provided scanned copies of Ms Khobragade’s online visa application which show serious discrepancies found in the statement of the case by US Attorney Preet Bharara as posted on the website of US Department of Justice, corroborating the lawyer’s contention.
The entry of USD 4,500 per month salary entry on the form was Ms Khobragade’s, not of Ms Richard, as mistook by US authorities, which led to a totally wrong premises on which their investigation and charges were based.
Ms Khobragade, posted as Deputy Consul General in New York, was arrested on December 12 on charges of visa fraud and underpaying her maid.
The manner of her arrest and subsequent humiliation sparked strong reaction in India. A press release issued by the Attorney of South district of New York and posted on the website of the US Department of Justice says: “DEVYANI KHOBRAGADE prepared and electronically submitted an application for an A-3 visa (the ‘Visa Application’) through the website for the US Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center for an Indian national (‘Witness-1’), who was to be the personal employee of KHOBRAGADE beginning in November 2012 at an address in New York, New York. The Visa Application stated that Witness-1 was to be paid 4,500 per month in US dollars.” However a reading of the Ms Khobragade’s visa application showed that 4,500 dollars were reported as the base salary to be earned by the employer Khobragade in the US.