The Government of India has rejected IFS officer Devyani Khobragade’s plea seeking dual citizenship for her children, who are American nationals, saying Indian law does not allow this. Khobragade, who was India’s deputy consul-general in New York when she was arrested and charged with visa fraud, had recently approached the Home Ministry officials with the plea.
“We have conveyed to Khobragade that her children are not eligible for dual citizenship and hence her plea cannot be processed,” a senior Home Ministry official said. Her daughters were born in India but accepted U.S. citizenship as Khobragade’s husband is an American national. The IFS officer is accused of suppressing this fact to her employer, Ministry of External Affairs. The children held Indian passports, too.
After coming to know that Khobragade’s daughters held American passports, the MEA revoked the children’s Indian passports. She has challenged the decision in the Delhi High Court. The government took the action as dual citizenship is only applicable to those children who were born outside India. Khobragade’s daughters were born in Mumbai. Children of foreign diplomats, who are born in India, are given dual citizenship till the period of their parents’ service in India.
The government recently told the Delhi High Court that Khobragade obtained U.S. and Indian passports for her two daughters in violation of Indian law, without informing the MEA. This, it argued, raises serious questions about her “trustworthiness and integrity.” “Devyani Khobragade’s submission that the U.S. passports were only used for travel to U.S.A. does not in any way dilute the gravity and seriousness of her misdemeanor and are blatant violations of Indian Passports Act,” it said.