Italian marines issue: No country can take India for granted, says Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi: In a hard hitting statement, the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said on Tuesday that no country should take India for granted. The Congress president was referring to Italy's refusal to send back two marines charged in the fishermen killing case.
"The defiance of the Italian government on the question of the two marines and its betrayal of a commitment to our Supreme Court is outright unacceptable," Gandhi said, addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party here.
"No country can, should, or will be allowed to take India for granted. All means must be pursued to ensure that the commitment made by the Italian government to our Supreme Court is honoured," Sonia Gandhi added.
Her remarks are significant as Congress was under attack from the Opposition, which alluding to Gandhi's Italian origin, has been targeting the government questioning why accused having links with Italy escape Indian laws starting from the time of the Bofors scandal.
Sources in the party have maintained that Gandhi was keen that the government did not appear soft on the Italian marines issue.
Meanwhile, the after Supreme Court pulled up Italy's Ambassador Daniele Mancini yesterday for reneging on the undertaking given to it on the Italian marines row and extended its order restraining him from leaving the country, asserting he cannot claim diplomatic immunity, Italy today snubbed India saying that it is violating a convention on diplomatic immunity.
"You went to Italy after giving an undertaking. We never expected and we never believed that the Italian Ambassador will renege like this," the bench had observed.
As senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Mancini and Republic of Italy Rohatgi pressed on the issue of immunity after the order extending the March 14 direction was passed, a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir reminded him again about the undertaking given by the Italian envoy.
The order barring the envoy from leaving the country was extended to April 2 when the case will again come up for hearing.
The court had said, "The person who has come to this court as petitioner, we don't think he has any immunity."
With PTI inputs