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IR A-bomb : Italy takes justice for a ride - Now what?

edited March 2013 in International Relations
http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Italy-takes-justice-for-a-ride-after-envoy-gives-his-word/Article1-1025423.aspx

"On many counts, Italy pulled a fast one on India by deciding not to return the marines to stand the legal process with regard to the killing two Indian fishermen, off the Kerala coast in February last year.

The marines had gone to Italy for Christmas and came back promptly. When a Supreme Court order of February 22 permitted them to leave for Italy for four weeks to cast vote in elections, New Delhi had no clue as to what was in store.

The Italian envoy to India had given an undertaking, amounting to a sovereign guarantee following which, Supreme Court allowed the two marines to travel to and remain in Italy for four weeks and "return to India under the care, supervision and control of the Italian Republic."

What can India do to enforce the law? ICJ? UN? Foreign pressure? Demarche? End all diplomatic ties with Italy? More vows of action by our PM? Bury the hatchet and accept the blood-money on offer? No immunity for Italian scamsters any more? Invade Italy? Complain to the new Pope?

Let's discuss the issue including ethics of its all - Italy's action / Court's decision to allow them to temporarily go home (bright idea) / Right to vote vs trial obligation / etc
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Comments

  • Thank you @ArindamSarkar for posting this.

    The Italian Ambassador has said that they have made up their mind very clearly about not returning the two marines. He said - I shall stay in India as long as I am not given the status of persona non-grata.

    Has anyone analysed if we could actually prosecute the marines under Indian Laws and not via International Laws. The reason being that the offense took place 12 nautical miles away from the coast, outside territorial waters. The SC said that because of this the HC at Kerala has no jurisdiction and only they (SC) have a jurisdiction . How can the SC have a jurisdiction and the HC not have it?

    Or are we UN-necessarily fanning a feeling of nationalism that is non-existent in the first place. Not trying to hurt sentiments here. Just trying to have a debate.
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  • And what about diplomatic immunity being revoked for contempt of court, as Salve mentioned? Any precedents of trying foreign diplomats?

    Jurisdiction of India in this matter has already been accepted by Italy and that is why the trial was going on in India. Territorial waters extend 15km out to sea, if I'm not mistaken.

    Italy is just trying to get its people back. They say they are going to face trial in Italy. But why now? Why after acceding to the jurisdiction of India? Feel it has a lot to do with Italian domestic politics and sentiment.

    Guess Italy is acting like a diplomatic rowdy because it knows nothing severe will actually happen as India will not risk diplomatic ties for one case. But whatever it's doing is certainly unprecedented.
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  • edited March 2013
    The situation created due to Italy's betrayal of trust has to be dealt by India keeping in mind two things, that the primary aim is justice to the families of slain fishermen and secondary is maintaining ties due to :-

    (1)economic compulsions : The balance of trade is in India’s favour and is growing fast and

    (2) Huge Indian diaspora : Italy has the 2nd largest indian community in europe (around 1.2 lakh Indian nationals estimated)

    To balance political compulsions of both countries a joint committee should be setup immediately that will oversee the matter.

    For the future course of action India can take extreme steps by expelling the diplomat and cutting ties if Italy doesnt comply or a moderate way forward by creating moral or political pressure by raising the matter in international forums or ICJ to make Italy realize it has disgraced itself, it should take the matter on priority and ensure justice to affected families by returning the marines for trial as it had accepted India's jurisdiction over the matter earlier.

    ref:
    http://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/Italy-July-2012.pdf
    http://newindianexpress.com/nation/article1499291.ece

    --
    Its weird that there are many jailed pakistanies, we never let them go to vote. This loophole should be plugged, what would it take to make postal ballot for undertrial the only option to vote. CRPC amendment?
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    Nature thrives on patience; Man on impatience
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  • edited March 2013
    @ArindamSarkar
    * I'll reason it out like this:

    The basis of international relations are internationally accepted practices and customs, international comity and friendship and national interest. Italy's actions do not uphold any of these grounds and are violative of and disrespectful to the spirit of international cooperation and are ethically inappropriate.*

    To add a few more points, our territorial waters extend upto 12 nautical miles that are 22.5 in kms. It can be found in the 1976 act and holds true unless I've missed an amendment.

    There are specific customary rules n conventions under international law for diplomatic and consular relations. Declaring a diplomat persona non grata is an extreme measure, in reality it's an insult. so it is rarely used n a lot of considerations go into such a decision.

    Also god knows what has really happened and karthikP's doubts might just be true. Further, some personal interests might be involved here.

    Then, in international relations, countries prefer talking out disputes, especially those that are not otherwise hostile to each other. Things are looked at pragmatically I.e our deals with italy, it's cooperation in fight against terrorism, support in UN and less sentimentally. Actions are weighed against national interest, and national interest being the greatest good for greatest in number for the longest duration possible. Therefore the strategy is usually to neotiate and conclude a win win situation for both. please don't cite the americans n israelis, they are simply put, 'unique'.

    What italy has done is absolutely unprecedented. I think we should approach the ICJ. But kaun jaane, kya sarkar is hiding from us! Mango people as we are :D
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  • @Inthefray : I stand corrected on the territorial waters' extent.
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  • I think national interest is not relevant to justice and ethics but to realism. Here Italians national interest was saving life of its citizens irrespective of killing of other nations citizen..Basic diplomacy in such incidents are first holding good cards in your hand and then sit on table for negotiation..Here cards were two marine..Since India had possession of marines ,Italy could have hardly done anything but ultimately agree to jurisdiction of indian court,and they implicitly did that when italian ambassador filed affidavit in SC..now since italy is holding cards(two marines),we will only see accusations, counter-accusations,some gestures culminating in some sort of compromise through negotiations..Only way India can get a better deal if they manage to get hold of better card...and that is Italian ambassador..there will be international criticism and all,but again it will end up in coming to table only with India having better cards to play...
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  • Get Ambassador arrested(for filing false affidavit,as jaitley said that by filing affidavit he has accepted jurisdiction of SC and hence no diplomat immunity),it may/maynot be legally defensible in International diplomacy(Vienna Convention blah blah),but u don't need legally defensible reason,reasons should be simple reasonable enough to create confusion and debate to prolong the status quo and create frustration across parties and force both sides and international community to come to table....Ethics/Justice wagarah is good within national boundary not internationally where there is a 'state of nature' and 'is a condition of war of everyone against everyone'....
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  • @Plato totally agree about your position on national interest. Actually, international relations have a very limited role for ethics. Idealistic is hardly ideal in these cases. But I would refrain from proposing an arrest of the ambassador. The fact that india stands by international laws gives us certain credibility and respect in the international fora. I feel chucking the italian ambassador would be better.

    All in all I don't think this question will come In ethics or gs. Matter is sub judice as well.
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  • Arresting the ambassador would be extremely difficult under the Vienna convention. Chucking him is a costly option as far as Indo-Italian diplomatic ties are concerned. Steps are being taken.

    As far as the applicability of these topic for GS is concerned, I feel questions can always come in a round-about way. We need to have a clear idea about the topics concerned. This issues may not come directly, but they can easily ask about the Vienna convention. That is the point of these current affairs discussions. Not to prejudice a sub judice matter. :)
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  • @ArindamSarkar I like your thought. Lets start a thread on the vienna conventions and also the law of the sea. we should know some concrete provisions.
    Why i referred to the matter being sub judice is that the govt will desist from asking about it. But yes the conventions have become very relevant :)
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  • edited March 2013
    Forgive me for adding a dash of humour here, really. But couldn't help sharing this via the Unreal Times :P

    I hope you'll laugh at it, when you're done being pissed off with me for posting these here :P

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    Currently Answering Questions on ForumIAS | Do not call me Sir, I am no Knight |
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  • @Neyawn super! Dude way too many arindams on this thread now!
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  • Unreal :) . Sure YOU won't get arrested under 66A of the IT Act? Watch out! For the record - I support no part of it. 66A is surreal. :))
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  • @Neyawn super! Dude way too many arindams on this thread now!
    That many Sarkars too - me and the UPA. :)
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
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  • @ArindamSarkar I like your thought. Lets start a thread on the vienna conventions and also the law of the sea. we should know some concrete provisions.
    Why i referred to the matter being sub judice is that the govt will desist from asking about it. But yes the conventions have become very relevant :)
    That, or post right here. Keep it all together. Fine with both.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
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  • Haha, yeah too many Arindams and too many Sarkars :P
    Currently Answering Questions on ForumIAS | Do not call me Sir, I am no Knight |
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  • edited March 2013
    According to me this is well thought game played by Italy.
    1.First they won India's trust by sending back two marines after X-mass

    2.Now they did it because there was grantee of 6 cr. from Italian side, undertaking by Italian Ambassador and Consul general.

    3.So they had big liabilities if the dont send back marines

    4.Then during election time there was dissatisfaction among Italian people on the soft stand taken by government

    5.So Italian govt. played political stunt in to show their people how they can take Indians for a ride

    6.This time when marines came back to italy. due to their past record Supreme Court did not put any heavy guarantee it was just a undertaking given by Italian ambassador

    7.According vienna convention Italian's knew undertaking given by Ambassador is useless because India cannot arrest or take away diplomatic immunity from ambassador

    8.Maximum we can do is to declare him as Persona non grata after which according to vienna convention ambassador has to go back to italy(that is why we haven't declared it yet).At any condition ambassador is not liable for arrst or conviction for any civil or criminal procecution(so he must be laughing at indian people hw govt is making fool of us)

    9.So now Italian people are happy as government became hero in their eyes

    10.And if we see past of India we never dreamed to take any hard action against any country even during Boforce case when Mr.Quatrochi was in India CBI never issued any warrent against him and when he took a boat for Italy and went away out of Indian water then CBI issued warrent and we know who controls CBI

    11.And since in this case we know there are already Augusta westland scam going(and there my be chances of high level ppl involved in it) on plus our prime minister is of Italian origin it is no chance our government will dare to take any action

    12.Current bragging by our govt. is just a show...because of upcoming elections
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  • edited March 2013
    @bhushan05
    Nice points. :)
    But our PM of Italian origin?
    You need to work on your GK. :P
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
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  • Ha ha ha....@abhinrao24 ur right as well as ur wrong :-) and I am dmn sure our PM is italian origin and u know who is the real PM...
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  • Well I'm constitutionally right.
    Maybe politically wrong.
    But being an UPSC aspirant I would choose to go the constitutional way. :)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
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