India on 4 January 2013 asked the US Embassy not to screen any movies at the American Center without obtaining a licence. The Embassy has been given a deadline to comply with the Government of India laws and Delhi Government regulations till 20 January 2014.
Movies for invited audiences are regularly screened at the American Centre without a licence. The Government has sent a notice of transgression to the Embassy. If the Embassy fails to comply with the directive, the American Centre will have to cease screening films from 21 January 2014.
Earlier, India downgraded the immunity of certain category diplomats of US and it has also withheld the immunity enjoyed by their family members. The consular officials of US in four consulates of India are being issued new ID cards, which will specify the limited immunity and will not protect them from serious offences. The same kind of restricted immunity is given to the Consular’s of India in US. The immunity that has been enjoyed by the family members of the American Consular till time will be done away as it is in case of the families of Consular of Indians in America.
Comment: Might be possible the action of barring the American Centre from screening movies without licence is a retaliation of India of the arrest and strip search of the Devyani Khobragade, the Deputy Consul General in New York. She is a 1999-batch IFS officer. Even Manmohan Singh on 3 January 2013 termed her arrest a region for temporary aberration in India-US strategic relations. She was arrested on the charge of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard.
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