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India and Italy – Taking a New Shape

Italian foreign ministry’s announcement on Monday, March 11, 2013, that the two individuals belonging to its marine corps (Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who had shot dead two unarmed Indian Fishermen in Cold – Blood perhaps for adventure  and were facing trail in India Court on the Charges of Murder) would not return to India once their leave expires in view of a “formal international controversy” between the two countries. This is a response to a humane and goodwill gesture shown by Indian Court, which permitted them a leave so that they can go to their country to cast their vote. Indian court had at an earlier occasion permitted the duo to visit their home for Christmas Celebration, after availing which they reported back.

Italian Government and its citizen have always been found grossly lacking in integrity and morality. This can be inferred from a  number of instance where Indian authorities were deceived and cheated by them. If one starts from issues, that probably one that could be easily recalled by masses, one can start with role of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi during Bofors gun contract in 1990  where kickbacks were paid to earn the contract, the same was followed by a recent deal in which Chief Executive and Chairman Giuseppe Orsi of Italian defence group Finmeccanica has been found to have paid kickbacks worth $68 million to secure the contract for the sale of 12 Agusta Westland choppers to India in 2010.  This has been followed by a very serious breach of integrity by act of Government of Italy, where the government of Italy has back tracked from its own guarantee or promise that it made to Indian Supreme Court in present case where its two mariners were being tried for murder committed by them of two unarmed Indian fishermen in coastal waters of India.

Probably – Indian authorities and Public too, would have learned till now that any and every kind of interaction with Italy has, irrespective of being business or political has caused a great deal of embarrassment to the country. So why do they repeat it? Italian Government and Citizens (as Government represents them) both lack seriously on the scale of integrity. Such country needs be socially politically and economically outcast by world community. One can understand when Terror Groups back track on their promise, but here this Country is behaving worse than terrorists. Now I comprehend why Roman Empire got lost into oblivion. I expect that Consequences as told prime minister will turn visible both to Indian Citizen as well as International Community. “Our government has insisted that Italian authorities… respect the undertaking they have given to the Supreme Court and return the two accused persons to stand trial in India,” Mr. Singh said in Parliament on Wednesday. “If they do not keep their word, there will be consequences for our relations with Italy,” he added, as lawmakers cheered.

At some points I feel that Indian Constitution by the way of providing Three Pillars for having Check and Balance over each other’s powers was really a very well thought of work, at least till time Indira Gandhi had not succeeded in snatching all the powers of decision making from The President of India or to say before turning the office in just a rubber stamp which needs to be put on legislation to accord them status of being Act. But then it were, the citizens, who permitted her to do this by giving her a majority of more than two – third.

Now as a consequence of legislature being fragment it’s the Judiciary that has got some breather to act in an independent manner. They are luckily not failing in their duty and are showing the courage to let the national and international community learn that it’s the constitution that is supreme in India and promises made by any authority are meant to be kept and not broken, meaning thereby that breach will not be tolerated.

The Supreme Court of India sought to restrain Italy’s ambassador from leaving the country in response to Rome’s declaration that two Italian marines will not return to India to stand trial on murder charges. The pair are accused of shooting and killing two Indian fishermen off the coastal state Kerala last year. They deny they committed murder. Italy and India disagree over where they should stand trial, an issue that has triggered a diplomatic dispute and polarized public opinion in both countries

In January, India’s Supreme Court said the two men, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, will face trial in a special court in Delhi. A month later, the court agreed to an Italian government request to allow the two men to leave India and travel to Italy for four weeks to vote in elections. At the time, Mr. Mancini, the Italian ambassador to New Delhi, guaranteed to the court the marines would come back to India.

In a notice, the court said Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini is not allowed to leave India without its permission, said India’s attorney general, Goolam E. Vahanvati, in an interview. Some individuals doubt the court’s move to be compatible with the terms of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an international treaty that grants diplomats immunity from criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction in the country that hosts them.

But the case here is very different. It is Mr. Daniele Mancini (who somehow happens to be Italian Ambassador to India) who stood in court as Guarantee to the court regarding the marines returning back to India after casting their votes. There court has asked Mr. Daniele Mancini to stay put in country till mariners do not return to stand the trail as he stood the guarantee. Court never wants’ the Italian Ambassador to India stay put. But certainly court is not interested in allowing Mr. Daniele Mancini to use his position of being Italian Ambassador to India to work as camouflage in escaping from his promise by forwarding the Vienna Convention in his defense. In fact there is no need to be worried about Vienna Agreement as Italy has itself by its act of not standing to promise made has violated more than a single international pact. If Indian Government feels like, it has all the freedom to launch a military offensive on Italy, as India needs to make sure that in and around Asian continent, rogue states and elements do not dare to raise their heads. Though I am not recommending a military action on Italy, here I am just talking about the rights of India to deal with a Rouge Government or a Government which fails in keeping its promise

Any way Diplomatic immunity is for crimes punishable with fine like parking, not for crimes punishable with jail terms. So there is no diplomatic immunity for the Italian ambassador in the Italian marine bail application. By subjecting himself to the Indian court jurisdiction Mr. Ambassador loses his stand as ambassador and has a role only as a foreign citizen.

                                                                                                                  ————— Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

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