The Ministry of External Affair has denied media reports claiming that India has recalled its Ambassador to Austria. The MEA has said that they have not shared any note on this regard with media, and the news is false and baseless, calling it a distortion of facts and mischievous. Although the ministry didn’t deny the report of the Ambassador’s transfer to Delhi, they said it is an administrative decision and not linked with any corruption charge.
A statement issued by the ministry said, “Reports that India’s Ambassador to Austria has been recalled to headquarters is factually incorrect. The decision to transfer the officer back to headquarters was an administrative one. The distortion of facts related to this matter is mischievous. No note on this regard has been shared with the media by the Ministry. Any reference attributing the Note to the Ministry is false and baseless.”
Earlier today and yesterday, several media houses had reported that India’s ambassador to Austria Renu Pall has been recalled amid allegations of financial irregularities against her. It was reported that an investigation ordered by CVC and conducted by the ministry of external affairs had found that she had incurred expenditures to the tune of crores of rupees on the government residence without permission. Reports had alleged that Renu Pall had rented an apartment for herself at Rs 15 lakh per month, and she was “fraudulently claiming the VAT refunds and misrepresenting facts in various permissions”, quoting unnamed official sources. Most media houses had sourced the news report from IANS, while Times of India had published it as its own report.
The news reports by Indian media houses were picked up by Xinhua, the official state-run media house of China, which reported that the Indian envoy was recalled for corruption. The Indian media houses that had published this report include Times of India, News18, India Today, Livemint, NDTV, Times Now, Republic, Amar Ujala among others. Even news agency ANI had also reported the same which has been now denied by MEA. Other than Xinhua, another foreign media house Khaleej Times had also reported it.
But now the Ministry of External Affairs has denied all these reports, saying that the ambassador to Austria has been transferred to Delhi as per an administrative decision, and there is no truth in allegations of corruption against her.