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Updated: March 15, 2013 08:58 IST

Supreme Court bars envoy from leaving India as Centre moves to act against Italy

Special Correspondent
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Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini leaves South Block after being summoned by the External Affairs Ministry, in New Delhi. File photo: Sandeep Saxena
The Hindu
Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini leaves South Block after being summoned by the External Affairs Ministry, in New Delhi. File photo: Sandeep Saxena

The Supreme Court on Thursday restrained Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving the country even as the Government decided to withhold the sending of a new envoy to Italy and resolved to throw out Mr. Mancini once the court finishes dealing with the issue.

On a parallel track, the Foreign Office began a review of its engagements with Italy to be in a position to implement Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s warning of “consequences” if Rome went back on its commitment of sending the marines back within four weeks.

As the apex court had let off the marines on February 22, Government sources said the window will close after a week.

In a significant decision taken following a late evening meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister (EAM) Salman Khurshid, India will not send a new Ambassador to Rome to replace Rajiv Dogra who has retired and is back in the country. Mr. Basant Gupta was all set to leave for Rome but was asked to stay back .

The Government is also thinking of throwing out the Italian Ambassador once the Supreme Court is through with the issue. “Our hands are tied at the moment because the Supreme Court is hearing the matter. We don’t know what direction the case will take. But once the court has decided how to deal with the Ambassador, we will declare him persona non-grata,” said sources.

At the PM-EAM meeting, it was also felt that the European Union must be taken into confidence about the developments. Accordingly, Indian envoys in the 27 EU member countries will present the case in Brussels as well as in the respective national capitals. In Delhi too, envoys will be briefed on the reasons for India’s anger, to balance the perspective provided by Italy.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) initiated a study of its interactions with Italy. After the end of this internal process, “we will take further action taking into account all aspects of our relationship,” MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told newspersons here.

For the moment, the MEA is focussed on urging Italy to respect its commitment given to the court and expected Mr. Mancini to comply with the undertaking he had “voluntarily” given to the apex court.

Asked about the implications of the Supreme Court restraining Mr. Mancini from leaving the country, Mr. Akbaruddin said the apex court did not violate any aspect of the Vienna Convention, which provides the framework for diplomatic ties.

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We all agree that this is an unfortunate incident.
Italians offered 1 crore each to victim's family and they were ready to compensate with their lose. I have no doubt it would have given the vicitms wives and children a great comfort in their future.
Now it is a diplomatic issue, Italians know how to deal with skillfully and diplomatically. I hope our government and court will resolve this issue without damaging our relationship with Italy and before we get more ridicule in international society.

from:  jamshid Thalassery
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013 at 12:46 IST

thanks to Dr Swamy's petition, SC has come out with this judgement.Let there be more people like dr Swamy .national interest first and taking care of one's own citizens especially when they get a wrong end of the stick are characters Indians should start learning.Poor fishermen lost their lives because few marines were trigger happy due to jingling nerves.

from:  shiv
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013 at 11:01 IST

Sensing the government's reluctant attitude, Dr. Subramaniam Swamy filed PIL wasting no time and fought the case in Supreme court. He brought some pride for the nation. He stands up for any the nation every time when it felt dejected.

from:  Sampathkumar A S
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013 at 10:16 IST

When the Kerala high court was intelligent enough to ask a bond of million dollars as bail money, it was rather gullible of the Supreme court to not do the same and let them go scot free.

from:  WinstonC
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013 at 10:10 IST

(1) Jo wada kiya, woh nibhana pade ga.

(2) As soon as the sailors saw the fishermen, they took out their guns and killed them there and then. Apparently, the same individuals performed the role of the culprit, the magistrate and the hangman. This is not permissible in the age of globalization.
(3) Who allowed the sailors accused of murdering the Kerala fishermen to go back home to celebrate Christmas, and to cast their votes? This could be done here as well.
(4) Who induced the officers in India to act without applying their minds to the pros and cons of their proposed action? How?
(5) What is to be done now?

from:  Jaspal Singh
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013 at 10:09 IST

India is plunging into a quagmire in this case. Let there be an introspection. After the
transfer of the case to the hands of the Center, why it failed to take quick steps to constitute
a Court for a speedy trial of the Italian defendants? We should clearly understand and
appreciate the anxious feelings of the families of these prisoners in Italy would have over our
tardiness in finalizing this case. From the very beginning, we have been dragging our feet
aimlessly. It is a case that should have been settled out of Court with fair compensation that
the Italian Government was ready to give the bereaved families to their satisfaction. We are
not seeing this kind of agitated mind when so many fishermen of Tamil Nad are loosing their
lives in the hands of Sri Lankan Navy as a matter of course. Make no mistake; we will never
get any international sympathy.

from:  T.Sathyamurthi
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013 at 07:24 IST

In line with Apex Court order, the GoI must take appropriate restrictive measures so that the Envoy does not give a slip to India. Strictly speaking, one cannot fault the Envoy as his undertaking to the Supreme Court was based on the directives he had received from his Government in Italy. One does not know how the situation will develop in the days to come, but one foresees a repeat of ‘Ramayana’, wherein Vibhishana, who made valiant efforts to convince his brother Ravana to let off Sita, but could not succeed, ultimately took shelter under Sri Rama. In this episode too, one does not rule out the Envoy seeking asylum in India, blaming the Italian government.

Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 16:53 IST

Though it seems like "eye for an eye" it would be appropriate for the Honourable Supreme Court of India to restrain the Italian Ambassador for standing a gurantor to allow the mariners to their home who have dishonoured their commitments.Indian Supreme court has the capacity and stature to sustain legally even if Italy frantically indulges to ove this dispute to International court of arbitartion to warp the legal course.

from:  Venkatakrishnan
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 16:50 IST

We the keralites had been attacked by foreigners right after the
discovery of the sea route to India from Europe by Vasco da Gama in
1498. But the killing of our two fishermen by two Italian Marines is
a new chapter in this new era...It resembled the attack of Vasco da
Gamma.. Felt like History is repeating.....
India's Supreme Court simply upheld the dignity of the people of India
by ordering to the Ambassador of Rome, (Italy) not to leave the
country without permission from Supreme court.That is in principle ,
The ambassador is already punished by the Supreme Court of the
Democratic Republic of India. Good News despite not enough.....

from:  abdulrahman
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 16:48 IST

This case is becoming too complex and the legalities involved will only
make the justice far from achievable. It sounds cliche now that Justice
delayed is Justice denied.

from:  Manavpreet Singh
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 15:21 IST

Let the apex court show the same kind of leniency and understanding to a multitude of undertrials languishing in our jails with out justice. Mr Salve, the renowned lawyer who represented the marines before the apex court, was fuming in NDTV programme yesterday and said that he will withdraw from the case.Why has he in the first place remained a party to this great tamasha of allowing the convicts to go on a vacation and then crying hoarse on this issue.

Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 15:19 IST

Well done SC!
SC's move to restrain the Italian Ambassador even though is very unique but is a very necessary step so that Indian Justice is not taken for granted and made a mockery by Foreign countries. Justice is Justice be it India or Italy. I think Italian may have misjudged becoz Indian Democracy has lot of loopholes and corrupt practices, Italians may have thought killing Indian Labourers is nothing significane compared to the Indian Elite and VVIPS. But SC has shown the Right Action- All are Equal, Indian Law should and will protect no matter how common and less influencial a Common Citizen of India may be. Indian Supreme Court has shown tremendous Foresight, Brilliance and Legal Geniousness. Hatts off to SC. - Syed Hussainy.

from:  Syed Hussainy
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 15:08 IST

That's only half the job, still, well done! Now here's an instance when one can feel proud of a national institution.

from:  Sridhar S
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 14:53 IST

well done, india.

from:  Isha
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 14:49 IST

I think Italy had expected this decision from the court. My guess is, Italy is doing a serious legal homework and diplomacy to ensure that the case is transferred outside India. After all the background work is complete, the marines may visit India to cool our tempers, and bid bye.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 14:33 IST

The only hope of the country lies with the judiciary. It is the
judiciary only in this time that has taken upto their reol and

from:  Shreya
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 14:31 IST

Thats a responsible action by the SC. Great work there.

from:  Priyanka Bansal
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 14:27 IST

The diplomatic protocol should not stand in the way and If the Ambassador fails to produce him he should be arrested because it is tantamount of contempt of the court. The Ambassador should not have stood as surety Had he refused the would not have sent them to vote

from:  ramu
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 14:14 IST

That's a very nice move. I am really surprised to see such a prompt
action by India. Any country which breaches trust of any other country
should be dealt with strict action in the same manner. Kudos!!!

from:  Abhineet
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 13:54 IST


from:  Uttam Singh
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 13:33 IST

This is sweet justice. If the marines don't come back then the ambassador serves the
sentence. Kudos to the Indian Supreme court for standing up for poor fishermen
killed by the Italian marines.

from:  Johny
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 13:31 IST

A fantastic job by Supreme court. If marine don't come even now then
Indian government should break all relation with Italy and this matter
should be put at International level to restrict Italy to do any other
such activity

from:  Gaurav India
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 13:14 IST

Considering this incident happened in international waters, the Indian government is wasting their breath.

This seems like an attempt to make a corrupt government look like it actually cares...

from:  Maroc
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 13:07 IST

Nice to see some kind of reaction from the Indian side, but not really
sure whether this will have any impact on the final outcome. One is
expects that after some posturing, the Europeans will still have their

from:  Abraham
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013 at 13:07 IST
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