India to fight Italian marines case in an 'unwavering manner'

New Delhi: India on Tuesday asserted that it has "jurisdiction" over the case relating to Italian Marine Salvatore Girone and that the government will continue to fight the case in an "unwavering" manner in the Supreme Court of India.

"We will fight for the rights of the victims," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha in the absence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Sushma Swaraj is in hospital undergoing treatment for congestion.

"India has jurisdiction in the case," Jaitley said, adding that the government will move the Supreme Court in the matter.

Arun Jaitley. AFP

Arun Jaitley. AFP

Several Congress members wanted to ask questions on the issue which was disallowed by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who said: "There is no rule to allow questions on (suo moto) statements from a minister."

Making a brief intervention, even as Congress members raised slogans about "match fixing" between the Indian and Italian government, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu denied any such thing, and added, "We as government condemn sloganeering."

"There is no match fixing and it is improper for senior members to raise such slogans," he said, and sought to point out that it was a matter between two countries and the Supreme Court of India is already seized of the matter.

The Speaker also ruled that no sloganeering should go on record.

The international tribunal at the Hague has ruled that Girone, facing a murder charge along with marine Massimiliano Latorre for the 2012 killing of two Indian fishermen, could return home.

The verdict was seen as the first big pronouncement of the PCA (Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague), after Italy approached it in June 2015.

While Latorre is in Italy since 2014 following illness, Girone is staying at the Italian embassy here.

The Indian government maintains that the Hague Tribunal has "left" it to the Supreme Court of India to fix the precise conditions of Girone's bail.

"This could include him reporting to an authority in Italy designated by our Supreme Court, surrendering his passport to Italian authorities and not leaving Italy without the permission of our Supreme Court. Italy shall apprise our Supreme Court of his situation every three months," a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.

Updated Date: May 03, 2016 22:55 PM

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