Italian marines row: Envoy 'banned' by Supreme Court from leaving India

Italian envoy

Restraining its ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India, the Supreme Court on Thursday sought explanation from Italy on its refusal to send back the two marines, accused of killing two fishermen off Kerala coast last year.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued notices to Italy, its ambassador and the two marines separately, seeking their explanation.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati mentioned the matter before the court and said the recent developments were required to be brought to its notice since the reprieve was granted by the apex court.

Stunned by Italy going back on its sovereign assurance on the return of the Italian marines facing trial in India for killing two Kerala fishermen, the External Affairs ministry on Tuesday had summoned Ambassador Daniele Mancini and read him the riot act.

His expulsion, sources said, is being actively considered as one of the options New Delhi can exercise in response to Rome's sudden decision that was announced late on Monday. Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai held meetings with key MEA officials as the government considered its options through Tuesday.

The diplomatic options discussed include minimum diplomatic contact with Italy like India has with Denmark in recent years over the Kim Davy extradition issue or snapping all diplomatic ties which includes closing its mission in Rome and asking the Italians to shut theirs in India, cancelling business contracts with Italian companies and stopping all diplomatic visits by either side, sources said.

Besides, the government is also talking to legal experts and law ministry officials to explore legal options.

Govt to comply with SC order on marines issue

Government today said it will comply with the Supreme Court order restraining the Italian Ambassador from leaving the country after Italy refused to send back marines charged with the killing of two fishermen.

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