Live: Italy sends diplomatic note, asks India to respect Vienna convention

6.05 pm: Italy sends diplomatic note, asking India to respect Vienna convention

Italy has sent a diplomatic note to India asking it to respect the Vienna convention. The Times Now channel reported that the note had said that Italy can't impose restrictions on the movements of their envoy, as per the convention. It added that "The Indian territory will be contrary to the international obligations of the receiving state to respect his position, freedom, dignity and function".

You can read the diplomatic note below

Italy diplomatic note

4.35 pm: India must respect Vienna convention, says EU

The European Union has said that India will have to respect the Vienna convention and the diplomatic immunity granted to Italian envoy Daniele Mancini. It has also said that both Italy and India will have to come to a mutual agreement to resolve the crisis.

"It is imperative that India respects the Vienna convention", said EU spokesman Michael Mann, to the Times Now channel. He added that the EU had taken 'cognizance' of the Supreme Court ruling and were watching to see what would happen next.

For a compelling argument on why India must respect the Vienna convention, click here.

2.58 pm: Bound by SC order on Italian marines issue, says MEA

Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs maintained that the Supreme Court order will be followed in the Italian marines issue and that the Italian ambassador will not be allowed to leave the country. "We are conscious of the Vienna convention and our obligations, but we are bound by the SC order," he said.

An Italian journalist asked the minister whether envoy Daniele Mancini will not be allowed to even visit Nepal, as he is the ambassador of Nepal too. However, Akbaruddin evaded the question.

11.43 am: SC slams Italy envoy, tells him he has no right to diplomatic immunity

The Supreme Court has slammed Italian envoy Daniele Mancini, saying that they had no trust in him anymore, and prohibiting him from leaving India till further notice. Chief Justice Altamas Kabir had also slammed Mancini's lawyers who had said that Mancini had no intention of leaving the country anyway.

According to the Times Now channel Justice Kabir had said, "Stop acting so naive. We had trust in him, he broke that trust. What makes you think he will not leave?"

He had also told them that given that he had made an undertaking on behalf of the government of Italy and failed to uphold it, Mancini had lost all right to diplomatic immunity. "We are concerned over Mancini's intentions, we want to know if he is going to comply with the order", Justice Kabir had said,

The livid Chief Justice had also asked, "What do they think our courts are?"

The Supreme Court will further hear the matter on 2 April.

Meanwhile PTI reported that Attorney General GE Vahanvati said that the Ministry of External Affairs is fully mindful of its international obligations.

10.05 am: Kerala CM promises opposition leaders that marines will be brought back

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has assured opposition leaders in the Kerala state assembly that the Italy marines will be brought back to India to face justice. Chandy made the statement in the assembly in response to an adjournment petition filed by opposition parties.

Chandy had said that Italy had used diplomatic relations to cheat India, instead of ensuring good relations with the country, reported Times Now. Chandy had also said that he would do all he can to ensure justice is served.

10.00 am: Will Italian envoy claim full immunity in SC?

Days after the Italian government refused to send back the two marines charged in the killing of two Indian fishermen in Kerala, Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini is expected to respond to the Supreme Court's notice today.

Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini may face tough questions today from the Supreme Court when it takes up the issue of Italy reneging on its undertaking to send back its marines. The apex court expects the Italian ambassador to explain why he didn't abide by his personal undertaking that the marines would return to India on 22 March.

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, who described the Italian government’s refusal to send back the marines as “unprecedented”, still hoped that the Supreme Court’s order will be complied with by Italy as the deadline for their return ends on 22 March.

 Live: Italy sends diplomatic note, asks India to respect Vienna convention

Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini. AFP

Some legal experts feel that Mancini can be hauled up by the apex court for contempt and that he cannot seek diplomatic immunity. Harish Salve, who quit as Italian government’s counsel, feels that Mancini breached a solemn undertaking given to the Supreme Court which can take action against the envoy including sending him to jail.

Salve said he feels that the Ambassador will find it “very hard” to explain in the court why he went back on the undertaking.

Government is mulling various options including declaring the Italian Ambassador as persona non-grata and downgrading of relations. It has already asked its Ambassador-designate to Italy Basant Kumar Gupta not to proceed to Rome as a review of the entire gamut of ties with Italy was underway by the government.

But, according to CNN-IBN reports, there may be no affidavit after all. Daniel Mancini may seek more time to file his reply. He is also expected to claim full immunity under the Vienna Convention before the top court.

The Supreme Court could be lenient, giving the envoy more time while reasserting that he stays in India till he explains himself to the top court. Or, as custodian of the law, the court may initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against the ambassador.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 18, 2013 19:44:46 IST