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Updated: March 14, 2013 04:35 IST

Shocked Salve won’t appear for Italy anymore

J. Venkatesan
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Harish Salve. File photo
The Hindu Harish Salve. File photo

“It’s a question of Indian prestige and govt. will be justified in taking toughest steps”

Feeling “insulted and shocked” by Italy’s stand, senior advocate Harish Salve on Wednesday made it clear that he would no longer represent that country in court, after Rome decided not to send back the two marines to India to face trial on charges of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast.

Talking to journalists here, Mr. Salve said: “I have communicated my decision to withdraw from the case. Strictly speaking, there is no case against them as it has been quashed. But the case raises interesting legal issues. Where a sovereign republic has invoked Article 32 of the Constitution and approached the Supreme Court, given an undertaking, would it be immune from contempt of court?”

The lawyer said, “This is an unprecedented situation. You invoke the jurisdiction of the court, give a solemn undertaking and then renege” on it. The Supreme Court acted with nobility and grace when it permitted the marines to go home to spend time with their families and vote in Italian elections. The Government of India agreed to this as a “friendly gesture” to a “friendly country.” They were allowed to travel on a personal undertaking given by the Italian ambassador.

But Italy’s decision was “a breach of faith ... Now it’s a question of Indian prestige, prestige of the Supreme Court and the prestige of all of us is at stake and I think that the Government of India will be justified in the toughest steps it takes.”

Law firm too kept in dark

Meanwhile, law firm Titus and Co., through which the Italian government filed the case in the court, said in a statement: “We came to know of the decision of the Government of Italy, not to return the two marines to India, only through media reports late night on Monday. We were not informed, consulted or forewarned at any point of time concerning this decision. We have advised that this matter be resolved by the Government of Italy at the very earliest in accordance with the undertakings given to the Supreme Court of India and in compliance with its February 22 order.”

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Do you expect me to believe that Salve did not know that the marines
could vote at the embassy in Delhi?

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 10:12 IST

There is not very much can be said of this sordid affair.It reflects very badly on the
Italian government and officials.India is a democracy and the Italian marines would
have had a fair trial in the Indian courts.The guarantee from the Italians to have them
returned to India for the trial was worth nothing.
Perhaps one expect too much of a country where Berlusconi,the"bunga bunga
man"has been the political shaker and mover for many many years.India has every
right to take strong measures in response to this affair.

from:  George P Konok
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 07:23 IST

You know what, it is Italy's lose. Indian is becoming a powerhouse in terms of economic growth. Many other countries recognising that, would try to appease India, not Italy. So let all Indians worth their salt, boycott the tourism, i.e., do not step a foot in Italy, may be it would not put a dent in their tourism, but it will definitely send a message, that India and Indians world wide are serious. Italy lost it's face, not India, so let us chill and ignore that country. And let us learn to respect our own people with equality and dignity. And make sure all our people are economically stable, that way no country would dare to do any harm to India.

from:  radha vyas
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 06:14 IST

If he really understand that this was a serious prestige issue, then Salve must hand over his enormous fees amount to the Victims family.

from:  Sriganesh
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 05:58 IST
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