They remain reluctant to pursue the case as they await word from the Union government

Four days after a case was registered here against Pascal Mazurier, deputy head of chancery in the consulate of France, for allegedly raping his three-and-a-half year-old daughter, Bangalore police remain reluctant to pursue the case as they await word from the Union government on his diplomatic status.

Despite the fact that the Ministry of External Affairs of India, French Embassy in India and French Ministry of External Affairs have communicated, Mr. Mazurier does not enjoy diplomatic status and can therefore be prosecuted against in accordance with the laws of the land. Additionally, police have a copy of Mr. Mazurier's passport, which certifies he has an “official” and not a “diplomatic” status.

“We cannot proceed till we have it in black-and-white. Today, till late evening we had not received any communication from the Union government,” said Additional Commissioner (Law and Order) T. Suneel Kumar. He added there were several versions doing the rounds in the media, and that the police were unlikely to go ahead with detention or arrest until it was official.

Though the French consulate, according to police sources, did not officially claim diplomatic immunity for Mr. Mazurier, he was let off after a brief interrogation and medical examination, on the basis of a simple “assurance letter” from a consulate official. He is reportedly living with the official, though he was seen emerging from the consulate office premises here early on Monday morning.

In a statement to the Editor of The Hindu, the French Ministry of External Affairs clarified the Embassy has not asked for diplomatic immunity for Mr. Mazurier. “The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) does not provide for immunity of jurisdiction for acts committed outside the exercise of consular duties (Article 43),” it stated, adding though they have been informed of the allegations, they do not wish to comment further on the case as investigation is underway.

Child rights activists from various non-governmental organisations protested in front of the French consulate here on Monday morning. They were detained by police and subsequently released in the evening.

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