Citizens' Issues
Who is Devyani Khobragade?

Devyani Khobragade claims the value of her properties at Rs1.78 crore plus three tracts of land in her own statement to MEA. A lot of her properties are inherited from or gifted to her by her father, Uttam Khobragade, a controversial former IAS officer

Dr Devyani Khobragade, the officer from Indian Foreign Services (IFS) cadre is at the centre of a diplomatic row between India and the US. In order to ensure full diplomatic immunity post the arrest and release episode in New York, Dr Khobragade was on Wednesday transferred to the Indian permanent mission at UN in New York. While several people know about her father, Uttam Khobragade, a retired officer from Indian Administrative Services (IAS), nothing much is known about Devyani Khobragade. What is interesting are the huge assets in her name, a lot of which was gifted by her father, a controversial officer of the IAS.

 

According to a statement submitted by Dr Khobragade to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), as of 31 March 2012, she owned 11 properties, including flats and land in Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. She declared some of the flats and land as 'inherited' from her father while others were bought by her. As per the declaration, Dr Khobragade earns a salary of Rs50,350 (including grade pay) per month, while generating revenues of Rs2.26 lakh a year from all her immovable properties. The total value of properties, excluding three agriculture land, owned by Dr Khobragade is Rs1.78 crore as per her statement. In short, as of 31 March 2012, Dr Khobragade was earning total revenues, including her salary and income from properties, of Rs8.30 lakh for FY2012 and owned properties of Rs1.78 crore, plus market value of three tracts of land.

 

However, as per the present market value, her properties may be worth more than Rs6 crore as her 1,000 sq ft in the controversial Adarsh Coop Housing Society (Adarsh CHS) in Mumbai alone is worth about Rs4 crore.

 

Dr Khobragade stated that she bought the flat in Adarsh CHS for Rs90 lakh by selling a flat in Meera Coop Housing Society at Oshiwara in Mumbai. While this may look good on paper, the reality may be quite different as the property rates between Oshiwara, which is located between Goregaon and Jogeshwari, and Colaba, the prime location of the Adarsh CHS, are way apart. For example, at present a flat in Colaba is priced between Rs39,400 to Rs43,600 per sq ft, while the same in Goregaon costs between Rs14,800 to Rs15,300, per sq ft as per Magicbricks.com. In short, the price difference between a flat in Colaba and Oshiwara is about three times. She did not mention the purchase price or value of her Oshiwara flat in the statement, though.

 

In 2006, Dr Khobragade purchased a non-agriculture plot measuring 5,000 sq ft at Alibag from Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA) that is shows as worth Rs10 lakh in the statement. As a co-incidence, her father was the chief executive (CEO) and vice president of MHADA between 2000-02 and 2004-05. Even this plot is worth over Rs50 lakh as per the current market price.

 

As per the statement filed by Dr Khobragade, out of her 11 properties, she purchased only four, while rest were either inherited or gifted or transferred by her father over the years. Besides, a flat in Adarsh CHS and plot in Alibag, Dr Khobragade also purchased a flat measuring 500 sq ft at Kanchanwadi in Aurangabad district for Rs7 lakh and a plot of 200 sq metres at Swarna Nagari Greater Noida in Gautam Buddha Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh for Rs20 lakh. According to the statement, she bought the Swarna Nagari plot by selling a house at Gurgaon from Ansal Building. But there is no value attached to her Ansal Building house in the statement.

 

For three agriculture lands, Dr Khobragade inherited from her father and from which she earns an annual income of Rs70,000, there is no purchase value mentioned. This includes 25-acre land at Gowardhan village in Chandrapur district, 8-acre land at Gawahne village in Ratnagiri district and 2-acre land in Kalamb village in Raigad district.

 

Dr Khobragade earns highest revenues of Rs1.20 lakh during FY2012 from a flat measuring 800 sq ft at Kondwa in Pune that was purchased by her father in 1995 and as of March 2012 was valued at Rs25 lakh.

 

Uttam Khobragade also gifted two land parcels measuring 2.02 and 2.7 ares in Ernakulam district of Kerala to his daughter on 20 December 2011. Present value of these two plots is shown as Rs16.35 lakh in the statement submitted by Dr Khobragade to MEA. Mr Khobragade also transferred a plot measuring 3.97 ares (9.805 Cents) in Pallipuram village in Kerala to his daughter's name on 2 January 2009. This is valued at Rs5 lakh.

 

Here is the statement of immovable property returns of Dr Khobragade as on 31 March 2012…
 


According to a report from Indian Express, Uttam Khobragade's name had also figured in the Adarsh CHS scam and he was accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of helping the CHS use higher floor space index (FSI) than permitted by allegedly transferring an adjoining plot reserved for a BEST bus depot to Adarsh. “He and Devyani, it was alleged, had got a flat each in the society as quid pro quo. Khobragade, who had denied any wrongdoing in the case, Wednesday said he and Devyani would not return the apartments. Devyani, who already owned a house in Mumbai — which too was allotted under the state government's 10 per cent quota — got the Adarsh flat after she applied for it,” the newspaper said.

 

Uttam Khobragade, who was the general manager (GM) of Bombay Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST), on 15 December 2007 introduced AC buses in Mumbai by labelling them as King Long buses. These so-called King Long buses  that used to cost Rs40 to Rs45 lakh at that time were not even made in China but in our own Mohali and that too by a local manufacturer using few parts from the Chinese company.

 

According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, the King Long buses, sold to commuters as top-of-the-line Chinese import, were not King Long buses at all. “The purple buses you see breaking down every now and then have nothing to do with the Chinese bus maker Xiamen King Long United Automotive Co, except a mechanical part here and there. The rickety clunkers that have given the usually efficient BEST a bad name are Cerita buses put together by an Indian company JayCee Coach Builders (JCBL) at Lalru, Mohali in Punjab,” the newspaper said.

 

During the inauguration ceremony on 15 December 2007, both the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Uttam Khobragade, the then GM of BEST referred to these buses as King Long, says Mumbai Mirror. For years Mumbai had been sold the lie of these haphazardly put-together vehicles with a ridiculously high incidence of breakdowns—4,037 in two-and-a-half years for 285 buses—boasting of a Chinese lineage, the newspaper report said.

 

Khobragade, the then GM of BEST when these AC buses were introduced in services, told the newspaper that since the matter is too old, he can't remember the specifics.

User

COMMENTS

Parvez Jamasji

2 years ago

with dalits like the Khobragades i pity the dalits in india. they either learn how Khobragades live or they REMAIN "DALITS" THROUGH OUT THEIR GENERATION AS THEY LIVED IN THE PAST 5000 YEARS !

sreekumar

3 years ago

request the writer to differentiate between ARE and ACRE....its a huge difference

Gordon Jacobs

3 years ago

I was always sure some one would dig the grave deep.

shadi katyal

3 years ago

One wonders why we Indians cannot keep our minds on the subject in question but keep changing the issue being discussed.
The Issue here is that Why Devyani married to a foreigners was posted to New York. Why did she commit felony and why GOI knowing the facts did not try to settle before it went to court.
The question is will India childish and prankish removal of safety barriers, cancelling Diplomatic cards and imposition of import restriction will bring any results.
Why accusations of conspiracy and kidnapping etc. show any maturity on MEA officers.
Since she is married to US Citizen and now resident of USA,will she fill joint income tax with her husband and declare her properties in India or hide those???
By posting her India has opened a can of worms.
Can GOI answer why she was passed over other seniors and why the fact her marriage to a foreigner was never brought out.
Is she not a security threat????

REPLY

Parvez Jamasji

In Reply to shadi katyal 2 years ago

BECAUSE WE ALL LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE "CHOR KOTWAL KO DAT THA HAI" !

Prasanna dulipeta

In Reply to shadi katyal 3 years ago

Shadi, you are right again. The need of the hour is to stay focused on this issue rather than generalize issues. The pertinent issue now is why did MEA post her there when she has married an American and why did they move her to New York to grant her complete immunity? Has the Government of India become blind to her illegal activities? While i do agree that it is the duty of our Government to protect its citizens abroad, is it the way to react by withdrawing the id cards and security of American Embassy and its staff? Self respect is above all but decency and understanding is equally essential and has our diplomacy failed in this case? Her backgroud as known from these sources reveal her high connections for the government to have reacted like this. If it wa not she would the reaction be of the same gravity?

shadi katyal

In Reply to Prasanna dulipeta 3 years ago

Mr. Dulipata if you read all what MEA is saying is covering its mistake. GOI has never declared what its policy is about such married officers to foreign nationals and some of the media is unwilling to investigate as they might loose Tender notices etc. One wonders if she is being over protected due to her being a Dalit and influence of her father.
Have we lost all our clear thinking as she was arrested and searched. USA State Department notified Indian Embassy but we dropped the ball. Why was she and her staff not called back.
If she had full immunity as being claimed now why did GOI ask the UN to accept her now and new ID to be issued.
One wonders if MEA is in touch with reality of Diplomatic services? By such childish retaliation we cannot prove our self respect. Are we happy being a laughing stock of the world.
We have tried to cover more than let the people know what is truth and we may never find out.
Did we hear anything about Ms.Gupta who was giving our secrets as pillow talk or who was responsible for issuance of multiple Visa to Headley? Where are the raw emotions of our countrymen in those issues???

Rajesh Premani null

In Reply to shadi katyal 3 years ago

Here,Ms. Shadi I hold the media completely responsible since they have not done their job or maybe they desire to make us believe to serve their agenda. Surprisingly there is not even a passing mention regarding the direction the law would take should Khobragade's husband be of US origin while Khobragade belongs to India. BTW why has she not given up her Indian citizenship now that she's married to an American citizen and also "partially" settled in the US? Would such concessions be offered to her had she not been Uttam Khobragade's daughter? Does the press have something to do with the MEA cover up act? Why is there so much bonhomie between the MEA and the media? Does it have to do with something that the MEA and media don't really want us to know?

captainjohann

In Reply to shadi katyal 2 years ago

Why not investigate the posting of present ambassador Mr.Jaishankar whose childrren are having green cards. In fact nobody who have some personal interest in the host country like husbands,wives,children aspiring for citizenship etc must not be posted to that country at all.

Rajesh Premani null

In Reply to shadi katyal 3 years ago

Shadi, you are right. We aught to have the focus in the right place. You and our other friends @MoneyLife have made poignant, valuable points that need merit and bulldozes any prospective arguments that could emanate from the MEA, Khobragade's or the MEA. Having hit the nail right where it aught to, it would be hard (if not impossible) for the Govt to answer these questions. The issue is, how do these questions reach those ears who matter! And most importantly, how they can make these issues matter?

shadi katyal

In Reply to Rajesh Premani null 3 years ago

Thank you Rajesh ji.
I agree that how do we get any replies or satisfaction from GOI and MEA as I feel they live in cocoon and feel that whole world revolves around them and thus not responsible, or capable to answer. Our old colonial mentality and bureaucracy is the norm and we have shown our childish policy in this case.
This case could had been solved had the MEA taken action against DEVYANI and called her back for consultations but instead filed a non bail able case against Sangeetha Richard which drove her to NY attorney office and it blew in our face.
Was MEA not aware of her marriage to an American Citizen or was it a post for her to join with him but what about security???
There is much more swept under the carpet and this can of worms must be opened.
We are thankful and congratulate this paper for being honest and bringing this issue to for front but other media has tried to cover it. As a matter of fact TOI yesterday wrote an article full of prejudices and sound like paid add for her. Not a word of her false allotment of flat in Mumbai etc. So unless our Media is honest and free of prejudices we will see more such red herrings.
God help us

Prasanna dulipeta

3 years ago

nothing comes free in this world and one has to sacrifice somewhere to gain something more valuable some where else. We have today to choose between small evil and greater evil. Experience has proved that some are better than the others though we are yet to see the best. However it is too very difficult to satisfy every one especially in public field. There is a saying in Kannada which goes to say that what one does is the best, what one's son does is better and what others do is the worst. However, we can be guiding force while exercising our franchise for better and proven people.

ckr

3 years ago

Time to rethink the reservation policy.. how come she availed of all the reservations of being a dalit, dispite of her father being a ias officer and she getting exposure to good education. thus proves the shortcoming of the reservation policy. it should have rightly gone to a poor dalit student. reservations for dalits should only be applicable for the economically weaker ones. else you will have deyanis children also making use of the reservations to get into premium education in india...

REPLY

Prasanna dulipeta

In Reply to ckr 3 years ago

Congress has survived for the last over 60 year in power, save for a term during NDA rule only on the basis of appeasement politics and reservations. Even thogh the founding fthers of our constitution wanted to bring the down trodden on par with the rest of the society in 10 years, it is the failure of the party in power to restore them the status of equality till date and actually pushing them further backwards by doling out reservations. Reservations should only be on the basis of economic backwardness and no other consideration. In fact in today's world, even the economically backward and deserving candidates have the option of seeking financial aid from philanthropists and banks for their future growth.

Rajesh Premani null

In Reply to Prasanna dulipeta 3 years ago

There is no ideological difference between the two largest political parties of our country. One that is ruling and the other that is aspiring (to rule). The difference is that Congress has mastered the techniques of appeasement to perfection. Till the time we have appeasement politics, individuals and commoners like us would find progress tough in any field that deserves change. To make changes happen we would have to be the change catalyst. Being the change catalyst requires some level of sacrifice .. are we game ?

Rajesh Premani null

In Reply to ckr 3 years ago

In fact, they've mastered the art of manipulating the porous system to their advantage. But that's how the system works in India. Rightly said, we now need to work to overhaul the system. If you read today's news, Mr. Khobragade wants to use the sympathy wave and launch himself into politics !!

Rajesh Premani null

3 years ago

Don't understand why MoneyLife has taken this news article off their main page. Please listen to the voice of your readers, dear MoneyLife. We desire that you take this issue to the Government or the Authorities. Now the Khobragade's desire to stand for elections! GOD save the nation. And spare humanity.

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Rajesh Premani null 3 years ago

This is an automatic process. We request readers to join our efforts. We are a tiny organisation which can bring facts to light. People need to be there to take things forward sir. How about you being a part of Moneylife and working shoulder to shoulder with us? We already do thing beyond our staff and financial resources.

Rajesh Premani null

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 3 years ago

Thank you very much for your revert Sucheta. Wondering how I could be of help here. I'm writing to vent ire on the system. Money, fame or power don't inspire contributors like me, however I wish to make an impact in the life of a common man. I'm seriously contemplating "doing something tangible" to change the status quo. And am determined. Maybe MoneyLife could offer a platform and guidance to people like us.

Rakesh Goyal

In Reply to Rajesh Premani null 3 years ago

Bravo, Rajesh. Synergy will bring change.

punam sah

3 years ago

Devyani herself is not devoid of controversies. If investigated thoroughly, her getting into the IFS will also throw open can of worms. There was a case filed in Supreme court of her being favoured against another officer despite low grades. But the impasse with the US is a clear case of nexus between bureaucrats and politicians at the cost of the country. Sushil Kumar Shinde and Uttam khobragade had stakes in Adarsh. When the Indian embassy in USA was alerted of allegations against Devyani, instead of correcting the situation, they filed an arrest warrant against the maid in India- a show of muscle power. Now she gains privileges despite being a habitual fraudster. Her salaries, her privileges are being paid by us taxpayers. DO we want such a corrupt official representing India? She should be stripped of every privilege she earns on our money. Request Moneylife to pursue this case till she is punished for her several offences. In India we need equality before law. She got away here, but US should not let her go.
regards,
P

shadi katyal

3 years ago

Since she is married to a foreign national how is MEA allowed her to be a Diplomat.
Is she not a threat to the security of India or is she already recruited by CIA.
Would GOI answer this. marriage is not new one and her husband is an American. She can never be an American citizen with
Felony charges pending.

REPLY

Rajesh Premani null

In Reply to shadi katyal 3 years ago

I beg to differ Shadi.

The MEA shall again give ultimatum to the US that they shall withdraw the privileges given to the US Consulate. And Khobragades shall rake up the issue with the IAS lobby, pull the rug from the Government threatening then backlash from the SC/OBC vote bank. Ask a senior bureaucrat or an employee with BEST about Mr.Uttam Khobragade and he would tell you more. Mr. Khobragade is disreputed with one more thing. He had falsely implicated an employee in BEST,by putting a false charge for insulting and calling him "SC". Not only that, he fought the case against that employee by using BEST funds.

You can imagine to what extent and depth this vicious family can get to, to achieve their ambitions.

That's the real Mr. Uttam Khobragade for you !

Gordon jacobs

3 years ago

Very very interesting. I believe the Govt needs to investigate. what we read about the diplomat seems to be the tip of the iceberg.

Hope the Govt will do their unbiased job.

Prasanna dulipeta

3 years ago

LOOKS LIKE THE STORY OF A CORRUPT DAUGHTER OF A CORRUPT FATHER. YOU REAP AS YOU SOW. UNFORTUNATE THING IS THAT THE EVIL HAS HAPPENED AT THE HANDS OF A FOREIGN NATION.

Prof ANAHAT HULYALKAR

3 years ago

How does one 'inherit' a living person's property? Such a phenomenon is unknown to law as it exists in India and almost everywhere else. Is it some kind of 'immunity' available only to ruling elite? How is she married a foreign national? Does it not compromise her position as an Indian diplomat?

REPLY

Rajesh Premani null

In Reply to Prof ANAHAT HULYALKAR 3 years ago

Dear Professor, the kind of points you and other member readers have brought out in the open are truly worthy of appreciation. Unbelievably true and eye opening aspects are being revealed one after the other. I have observed similar ire of the general public in other websites also where readers have shown absolute disillusionment with the manner that our MEA has dealt with this whole issue of the Khobragade family. Alas the Government is turning a completely blind eye to the sensibilities of the people of India, supported in full by the people of India, to the extent of being brazenly ridiculous by seeking to sever diplomatic ties with US on the whimsical grounds. I wish MoneyLife take such issues and make a representation on behalf of its readers. Hope MoneyLife is listening.

nitin

3 years ago

i was first to comment
but unable see the same ?

nitin thakker

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

In this case, the children's father is American, and some element of liability and responsibility for paying the maid's wages is also incumbent on him, to the best of my knowledge, so what is the reality there?

And if that is the case, then why is the Indian taxpayer being made to cover all costs of this episode, please?

To me, it also sounds as though a case of an American father under-paying a maid-servant is being projected as something totally and only Indian.

REPLY

MOHAN

In Reply to Veeresh Malik 3 years ago

Thats a very good point. you have hit the nail on the head.

Drashta

3 years ago

corrupt to the core. expled oitation in their DNA, has manifestated in their treatment of the downtroden. They have profited from thier status - both administrative and that of backward caste. They have recieved political patronage from Congress - the old hand at caste & religion games. May God save this country from rascals like these.

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