Devyani Khobragade falsely said she had no flat when she got one in Adarsh: probe panel

Devyani KhobragadeIndian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade. Reuters

The Adarsh probe panel has claimed that Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat arrested in the US for alleged visa fraud and underpaying her help, furnished false information to own a flat in the cooperative housing society.

She had falsely claimed that she did not own a flat anywhere else at the time of her application for Adarsh membership, the commission has said.

Devyani was allotted Flat 2301 measuring 1,076 sq ft in "A" wing against her application dated July 28, 2004, when she was posted in Germany. The application was submitted on her behalf by her father Uttam Khobragade who said he had power of attorney. Khobragade was then secretary of the animal husbandry department. When she was granted membership, he was general manager, BEST.

The commission noted that two copies of her application (MEM-392 and MEM-392-A) are on record, both signed by her father. While the first mentions 'Nil' against her residence ownership column, the second mentions she owned a flat in Meera Co-op Society, Jogeshwari (W), Mumbai.

"Devyani told the Commission that she owned the Jogeshwari flat only in 2005. This statement is false since the 2004 application MEM-392-A mentions her to be a member of the society (Meera), which she said she would resign from when she gets the Adarsh allotment," the report says.

The report mentions she transferred the Jogeshwari flat on September 30, 2008, in favour of one Siddhrath Basu for Rs 1.90 crore through a sale deed that mentions her allotment letter dated July 5, 2004. "This clearly shows that Devyani already held a flat when she was allotted Adarsh membership on May 12, 2008, as Uttam Khobragade himself has stated," the commission says.

"This rendered her ineligible and despite that her membership was approved," the commision said.

Referring to the price she paid for the Adarsh flat, the commission observed: "Her Income tax discloses that she is a well-to-do person since she owns agricultural land, flats in Aurangabad, Pune, Delhi, Thane and investments of large amounts." The commission, however, found no violation of service rules by Uttam Khobragade himself.

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