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No sick leave, $1 per hour for maid in US-India row: court papers

Published on Jan 10, 2014 10:04 PM

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - An Indian diplomat accused of visa fraud and lying about underpaying her maid coached the nanny to mislead US officials, confiscated her passport and made her work 100-hour, seven-day weeks, according to a US grand jury indictment.

Devyani Khobragade, who was India's deputy consul-general in New York, was effectively expelled from the United States on Thursday as part of a deal in which she was granted diplomatic immunity from the charges.

US court indictment papers, published on the website of the US attorney's office of the Southern District of New York, painted a picture of a maid refused sick days and holidays while working for a salary of little over US$1 (S$1.30) an hour in New York, or about one-seventh the minimum wage.

Khobragade's arrest set off protests in India after disclosures that she was handcuffed and strip-searched. The dispute soured US-India ties, leading to sanctions against American diplomats in New Delhi and the postponement of visits to India by senior US officials.

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