Supreme Court has pulled up the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini for breach of understanding that he had given to the apex court over the two Italian marines who were in Indian custody until late.
The Supreme Court has further restrained the Italian ambassador from leaving India till April 2nd. The court has also ruled out that contempt of court charges could be initiated against the ambassador if he fails to bring back the Italian marines by March 22nd.
Italy too has reacted sharply to the latest step taken by supreme court and has pointed out that the ambassador cannot be restricted from moving around, as this amounts to violation of ViennaConvention immunity that has been given to diplomats.
All eyes will now be on the central leadership, which has been caught in an unusual situation following the denial by the Italian marines to return to India. This too casts a shadow over the Indian and Italian relations with the central leadership of congress maintaining a silence over this issue.
However, the court has reacted sharply to the claims made by the Italian government that the diplomat cannot be tried from breach of conduct. The court maintained that the ambassador had given an undertaking on behalf of the Italian government and any such breach of undertaking cannot be ignored.
The Prime Minister meanwhile has spoken on the issue and has warned Italy of serious consequences if the Italian marines are not returned to India. Perhaps Manmohan Singh too is under pressure as the opposition has found another issue to raise their voice and take on the congress leadership that usually chooses to react with caution when any issue related to Italy is raised.
Meanwhile legal experts too point out that things are not easier for the Italian diplomat as he had personally argued the case of two Italian marines and had got the permission for their visit to Italy for voting in the general elections. An undertaking was given to the effect that these marines will be called back to India to complete the judicial process but nothing much happened on this front.
The opposition parties however smell some misadventure on part of the government in this particular case. Taking opinion from legal experts, the opposition parties have come up with an unnerving revelation in the case.
Under Italian law it is allowed for a person to vote in general election even if they are in some other country. This ruling, which is clearly noticeable in Italian laws, was not taken into consideration when the application for the two convicts was processed. The central leadership though is doing its best to deal with the current embargo has a lot of answering to do. The opposition parties led by BJP have been asking the government as to how it did not know about the provision in the Italian law that permits a person to vote, even if they are some other country.
Meanwhile as the diplomatic row builds up between the two countries, it will be a wait and watch situation as events unfold on a daily basis.