US remarks on Kejriwal's arrest 'unwarranted': MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday called the remarks made by US State Department on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as “unwarranted”, adding that any such external imputation on our electoral and legal processes is “completely unacceptable.”

Addressing a weekly press briefing on Thursday, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “Yesterday, India had lodged its strong objection and protest with a senior official from the US Embassy with regards to the comments made by the US State Department.”

He further emphasised that mutual respect and understanding is imperative for the foundation of international relations and urged the states to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of other countries.

“The recent remarks by the US State Department are unwarranted. Any such external imputation on our electoral and legal processes is completely unacceptable. In India, the legal process are driven only by the rule of law. Anyone who has a similar ethos, especially fair democracies, should have no objection in appreciating this fact. India is proud of its robust and independent democratic institutions,” Jaiswal said.

“We are committed to protect them from any form of undue external influences. Mutual respect and understanding form the foundation of international relations and states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others,” he added.

This comes after India on Wednesday summoned a senior US diplomat and lodged a strong protest against Washington’s remarks. Reports had it that a US state department official had said that Washington “encouraged a fair, transparent and timely legal process for Chief Minister Kejriwal”.

The MEA later in a statement said, “We take strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India”.

“In diplomacy, states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others. This responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies. It could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents,” the statement said.

India’s legal processes are based on “an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes,” the MEA said in the statement while underlining that “casting aspersions on that is unwarranted”.

The development came days after India on March 23 had summoned the German deputy chief of mission here and lodged a strong protest against that country’s foreign ministry’s remarks on the arrest of the Delhi chief minister.

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