Indian Government with egg on the face.

Indian Government never learns from Past Mistakes

Release of Italian Marines on Bail

Two Italian marines were accused of killing fishermen in Indian Coastal Waters. While they were on trial they sought to be released on bail which evidently was refused by courts below. Supreme Court of India granted bail on the assurance of Italian Government that the prisoners shall be returned after they cast their vote in Italy. They have to return on 22nd March 2013. But they have already refused. It is everywhere in news papers.

Sicilian by Mario Puzo

Mario Puzo is known for his famous work God Father. However he had written many more novels. His actual best was Sicilian. It is a novel about oppression of poor by rich/nobles and how an oppressed becomes a bandit or out-law. At one place he writes “This is Sicily. Here there can be treachery within treachery.” The fact is that at the climax he creates such a web of treachery. But we can not judge people of entire nation by a novelists opinion. But my season of humour is getting persistent. But the story is still being written. Let us see how many or more treacheries will play.

Track record of India

Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, the accused in the Bofors scandal and family friend of the Gandhis (Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi), left India on the night οf 29 July, 1993, before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) could question and detain him in connection with the case. It was alleged that the release was part of a deal between Sonia Gandhi and the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao. The CBI finally filed a charge sheet against Quattrocchi in 1999 in connection with the Bofors bribe scandal. The case against him was strengthened after Interpol exposed two bank accounts – one belonging to him and the other to his wife Maria with Euros 3 million and $1 million, respectively – which were frozen. The government of India released it in 2006 without the consent of the CBI. Quattrocchi was arrested in Argentina in 2007 following a warrant by Interpol, but India lost the extradition case with the judge stating that India did not provide proper legal documents. The court also ruled that India pay legal expenses of Quattrocchi’s case. The CBI came under severe criticism for not trying hard to ensure his extradition. The case was closed eventually. A similar escapade happened in 1996 when two French men who were accused of spying never returned to India for further trial after leaving for their country. French nationals Francois Clavel and Elle Philippe were detained by Kerala Police in 1996 after their yacht anchored off Kochi coast, and a case was filed against them for spying. However, they were allowed to visit their home by the court after the French government intervined and assured that they would be sent back to India for trial once the stipulated time expires. The accused persons never returned to India and the French government failed to keep its word. The CBI could not trace them despite efforts to nab them with the help of Interpol. In yet another mess, India is still fighting for extradition of Kim Davy from Denmark, the prime accused in 1995 Purulia armed drop case. Five Latvians and a British national were arrested in connection with the case where an aircraft dropped huge quantity of arms and ammunition in West Bengal’s Purulia district, but the main accused Davy managed to escape. India has been pressing the Denmark government for Davy’s extradition since the incident happened, but hasn’t been successful. The closest in securing the extradition was in 2010 when the Danish government passed an extradition order, but a court reversed the order in its ruling. India severed its diplomatic ties with the Denmark, including minimum diplomatic contact after Denmark government refused to file a fresh appeal in the Supreme Court against the ruling of a lower court that turned down the government’s previous order. The Indian government issued a circular in 2012 not to meet or entertain any Danish diplomat posted in the country.” (http://www.ibtimes dot co.in/articles/445580/20130313/india-severe-ties-italy-diplomatic-breakdown-marines.htm)

Track record of Supreme Court

When it comes to granting bail or for that matter granting any interim relief, public rarely get to know the reasons as none are recorded. Since it is the last court and therefore non-appealable, it is not obliged to record reasons. However in actual practice, it does record reasons for its judgements but not for such trivial interim orders. However we do not know if the above facts, as reported by IBN-Live, were brought to the notice of Supreme Court. I do not think Italy has done any heroic job, rather it may close the door for entire european citizens from seeking bail in this country. Just as no one from Africa gets bailed out easily.
Another interesting development is: Does diplomatic immunity of Italian ambassador extends to avoid contempt of court?
I wonder if such question arose before. BTW he has already been ordered by Supreme Court not to leave the country.
Get your popcorn and head for the TV on 18th March, 2013 when the matter shall be taken up by Court.

And Indian Government better start licking the egg on its face as it appears that it has developed a taste for such eggs.
P.S.: It would not be fair unless I mention that the best prison conditions in India are nothing less than living hell for any European Citizen.

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About Sandeep Bhalla

A lawyer, thinker, author, Linux/Ubuntu power user and sometime an economist or gardener or philosopher or cook or photographer depending upon the current thought and environment. View all posts by Sandeep Bhalla

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