The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said the government was bound by directions of the Supreme Court in the matter of diplomatic immunity to Italian envoy Daniele Mancini and this has been made clear to the Italians.

Italy had raised the question of diplomatic immunity to its envoy under the Vienna Convention after the Supreme Court told him last week not to leave the country. On Monday, the court said Mr. Mancini did not enjoy immunity and extended its order barring him from leaving the country to April 2, next date of hearing.

Italy had invoked diplomatic immunity for its Ambassador in a note verbale sent to India on March 15. Rome drew New Delhi’s attention to two provisions in the Vienna Convention on dealing with immunity. It pointed out that Article 29 states that “the person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.”

Article 31 says, “A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction,” except in some cases.

The MEA spokesperson said India would take further steps against Italy after it conducted an internal review of the bilateral ties. The government had asked its Ambassador-designate Basant Kumar Gupta to stay back.

“When [the study] is completed, it will provide us with a variety of suggestions and it is only then, we will consider various matters based on what that study provides. At this stage, this is not yet ready,” the spokesperson said.

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