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Italy must honour it's obligations

Thursday March 14, 2013 12:14:10 AM, Thomas Kocherry

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The announcement of Italian Mariners, who allegedly killed our two fishermen in the sea are not coming back is shocking. The Italian Ambassador stood as a security in the Supreme Court (SC). If Italians do not stand by their promise in the SC , Government of India (GOI) should suspend all Diplomatic Relations with Italy.

 

The Italian Ambassador should be sent back. GOI will never do this as was the case with Bhopal Gas tragedy when the MNCs did not honour the agreements. The same is happening with Plachimada Tribunal. In Bofors Case Quiterochi, an Italian escaped. GOI is more interested in the MNCs than our poor Indian Fishermen. GOI should act. All legal actions should be taken.

Its decision not to send the marines back to India to stand trial by revoking the solemn guarantee given by the Italian Government to the Supreme Court of India came as a rude shock. At a moment when the believers are focused on Italy because of the papal election, the country’s reputation and credibility have hit an all-time low. The Chiristian Faith is called into question.

Italy had argued, right from the beginning, that the shooting took place in international waters and that India had no jurisdiction in the case. But having faced court action in Kerala, the Italians fought the battle in the courts and simultaneously pressed the government of India at the highest level to resolve the issue diplomatically.

 

They had sensed the impact of public opinion on the courts in Kerala and tried to take the case out of the State. It was with a sigh of relief that Italy greeted the decision by the Supreme Court of India to move the case to Delhi and try it in a special court under the provision of maritime laws, including the Law of the Sea.

 

In the midst of all this, Italy even managed to get India to announce the ratification of a treaty with Italy that allows citizens convicted of crimes in either country to serve their prison sentences in their home country. Against this backdrop, the resorting by Italy to violation of an explicit undertaking is all the more reprehensible.

 

Law of the Sea is very clear. 12 Nautical belongs to the State. 200 nautical miles belongs to the nation. Beyond 200 Nautical miles is the International Waters. There is no ambiguity that India has the legal right to handle the trial in India.



Thomas Kocherry is executive committee member of National Fishworker's Forum thomasksa@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

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