At the outset, it is important to draw a distinction between diplomatic agents of states and consular staff. While the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations covers the privileges and immunities of diplomatic agents, the treatment that consular staff are entitled to is laid down in the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. As the Deputy Consul-General at the Indian Consulate in New York, Ms. Khobragade was, at the time of her arrest, a member of consular staff, and not a diplomat.
India has reportedly taken the following retaliatory measures: (i) removal of security barricades around the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, (ii) withdrawal of airport passes and import privileges (iii) identity cards issued to U.S. diplomats to be turned in and (iv) refusal by several leaders including the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the National Security Adviser to meet a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation. Some politicians have also suggested prosecution of same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats.
Notwithstanding the several privileges and immunities Indian diplomats and consular officers are entitled to, they have a corresponding duty under the 1961 Convention and the 1963 Convention, to respect the laws and regulations of the host State. Irrespective of how Ms. Khobragade was treated by U.S. authorities, we must not forget the original allegation that she is in violation of U.S. law.