No trust,no immunity: SChttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/no-trust-no-immunity-sc/

No trust,no immunity: SC

Marines: Bars Italian envoy from leaving India,says may 'violate' orders again

Saying that Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini “has lost our trust”,the Supreme Court Monday restrained him from leaving India,and added that a person who “comes to court as petitioner” does not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

“We don’t go anymore by what you (Mancini) say. We are not so naive… He has done it once and he (Mancini) will again violate our orders if he has to,” said the bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir when senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi,who appeared for Mancini and Italy,said he would not leave the country.

“We did not expect them to behave in this manner. What do they think the courts in India are? What is our judicial system?” said the bench,as it asked Mancini to clarify his “intention” on the return of marines Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone,accused of killing two fishermen in February last year.

The marines were allowed to go to Italy on February 22 for four weeks on the ambassador’s undertaking. The court Monday extended its ban on Mancini leaving India until April 2,the next date of hearing. Rejecting the argument about diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention,the court said: “The person (Mancini) who has come to this court as petitioner,we don’t think he has any immunity.”

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Demanding an explanation from Mancini and the Italian government, the bench made it clear that it was not concerned with diplomatic communication but only with the compliance of its orders,which have “technically” not been violated so far since the bail period ends on March 22.

The court made the observations after it perused a copy of the note verbale written by the Italian government to the Indian government,which was placed before the bench by Attorney General G E Vahanvati.