The Supreme Court has ruled that Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini
cannot leave the country, a consequence of Italy's refusal to return two
marines to face trial in India.
Mr Mancini had given a written
assurance to the Supreme Court that the naval officers would return to
face murder charges for shooting two fishermen off the Kerala coast in
February last year. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were then
allowed by the court to travel home for four weeks for Easter and to
vote in the national election.
On Monday, Italy informed India
that the men would not be sent back; Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
warned yesterday "there could be consequences."
The Supreme Court has also asked Mr Mancini to explain Italy's reneging of its assurances in court.
say that the Supreme Court's order for the envoy to stay in India till
the next hearing on Monday may run contrary to diplomatic norms.
spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said the government is obliged to
follow Supreme Court rulings, but refused to be drawn on whether this
would require the government to break the Vienna Convention which
governs diplomatic relations.
"We would not like to get into
hypothetical situations," Syed Akbaruddin said at a press conference in
New Delhi. But he added that "if the diplomatic agent willingly submits
to the jurisdiction of a court, then that jurisdiction applies".
says that its decision was taken after India ignored its written offer
for diplomatic negotiations, and because New Delhi does not have
jurisdiction over the case. (Read: Will search for an acceptable solution, Italian officials tell NDTV
marines were guarding an Italian tanker off the Kochi coast in February
last year when they say they mistook two fishermen for pirates, and
Italy claims the shooting took place in international waters; India disagrees.