» News » Indian envoy in UK probed for wife assault

Indian envoy in UK probed for wife assault

By Prasun Sonwalkar
January 09, 2011 15:19 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Anil Verma, a senior diplomat in the Indian high commission in London, has been questioned by Scotland Yard on allegations that he assaulted his wife, but has escaped persecution due to diplomatic immunity.

Verma, who is minister (Economic) in the high commission, is alleged to have attacked his wife after a heated argument in December, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

The police were called to the couple's home in Golders Green in north-west London after neighbours heard a woman screaming. According to the report, police officers questioned Verma but did not arrest him because of his diplomatic status.

The police have reportedly asked the Foreign Office to intervene. An Indian high commission spokesman said, "This matter has been brought to our attention. It is now expected that this matter will be resolved between husband and wife to their mutual satisfaction."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said, "At 9.30 am on December 11, following reports of an assault at an address at Corringham Road, NW11, a man in his 40s was spoken to by officers. No arrests were made."

A Foreign Office spokesman said, "We do not tolerate diplomats working in the UK breaking the law. When we are made aware of an offence committed by a diplomat or their family, we will take appropriate action."

Last year, Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament that foreign diplomats had escaped prosecution in 78 serious cases in the previous five years, including alleged sexual abuse, shoplifting and drunk-driving.

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, foreign officials, their spouses, children and staff are protected from prosecution in their host country.

As a result, embassy staff accused of serious offences can be charged only if their government agrees to waive their diplomatic immunity.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Prasun Sonwalkar In London
Source: PTI© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.