Though the Bangalore police have deferred the arrest of 39-year-old French diplomat Pascal Mazurier, who was let off on Friday after he was accused of raping his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, L.R. Pachau, Director-General and Inspector-General of Police told The Hindu that “investigation is going on in a routine manner.”
“The question of diplomatic immunity pertains to the arrest only and does not hamper the pace of investigation,” he maintained, adding that they were awaiting word from the Ministry of External Affairs on his diplomatic status. When asked, if immunity would be applicable to an allegation of rape, he said that “according to the law, the State police cannot arrest or take into custody any diplomat who may enjoy immunity status”. This is irrespective of the nature of the crime, whether or not this was committed in the line of duty, he maintained.
Asked if, in the absence of a formal arrest, anything legally holds back Mr. Mazurier from fleeing the country, Mr. Pachau declined to comment. It may be recalled that Mr. Mazurier was let off on Friday, after a few hours of preliminary investigation and some medical tests, on the basis of an assurance letter submitted by Vincent Caumontat, Deputy Consul, Head of Chancery at the Consulate here.
A Deputy head of chancery in the consulate of France here, Mr. Mazurier's diplomatic status is a “grey area”, police sources have said. Neither the French consulate here nor the French Embassy in Delhi have attempted to bring any clarity to the picture. When contacted on Sunday, Mr. Caumontat, with whom Mr. Mazurier is reportedly lodging, refused to comment.
He said that the consulate here was busy with internal elections and that an official communique on this matter would be sent to the media on Monday.
Nina Nayak, chairperson of the Karnataka Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said she was in talks with the French Consulate, particularly on issues pertaining to maintaining financial support for his wife Suja Mazurier (37) and his three children, a seven-year-old boy, the alleged victim and a 20-month-old toddler. They have promised to continue paying her the government allowance given to her every month, and Mr. Mazurier has agreed to pay a fixed allowance for the three children, Ms. Nayak said.
Refuting reports in certain sections of the media that the police had sought court permission to collect DNA samples, Additional Commissioner (Law and Order) T. Suneel Kumar said that though the investigation was on, the police was waiting for word on the diplomatic status to proceed with a DNA test.
However, sources at the Baptist Hospital said that Mr. Mazurier's sperm samples, collected hours after the alleged rape on June 13, were sent for forensic testing.
The second medical examination report, prepared by the government-run Bowring Hospital, was handed over to the police on Saturday, hospital sources said.
Meanwhile, sources close to Ms. Mazurier said that the police visited her residence in Vasanthnagar for a detailed report (or mahazar) as part of routine investigation. The three children would be taken to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences for counselling on Monday, sources said.
PTI reports from New Delhi:
The French diplomat, does not have diplomatic immunity and can be tried in India, according to official sources here.
Pascal Mazurier, “holds a service passport and not a diplomatic passport,” they said.
“He does not enjoy diplomatic immunity and can be prosecuted in India,” the sources said.