Italian marines row: Supreme Court bars envoy from leaving India, strips him of immunity

Daniele Mancini

The Supreme Court today pulled up Italy's Ambassador Daniele Mancini for reneging on the undertaking given to it on the Italian marines row and extended its order restraining him from leaving the country, asserting he cannot claim diplomatic immunity.

"You went to Italy after giving an undertaking. We never expected and we never believed that the Italian Ambassador will renege like this," the bench observed.

As senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Mancini and Republic of Italy Rohatgi pressed on the issue of immunity after the order extending the March 14 direction was passed, a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir reminded him again about the undertaking given by the Italian envoy.

The order barring the envoy from leaving the country was extended to April 2 when the case will again come up for hearing.

Rohatgi's submission was taken exception to by the bench which said, "We don't go by anything. He has given the undertaking. We are not so naive.

"We don't accept his statement. We don't believe his statement. He has lost trust."

The court said, "The person who has come to this court as petitioner, we don't think he has any immunity."

"He has no immunity. What do you think of our judicial system," an anguished bench said and added that so many things are being written about the incident.

After Rohatgi said he was appearing for Republic of Italy and the Ambassador, the bench told him, "We are concerned with Daniele Mancini. What is your intention Mr Daniele Mancini?

"We are concerned with the intention. Are you going to comply with this order? We are not concerned with anything else," the bench said.

The apex court had on March 14 asked Mancini not to leave the country without its permission, taking exception to his government's refusal to send back the two marines, Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone to face trial in India in the killing of two Indian fishermen last year.

... contd.

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