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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Forget diplomacy, this is 'enemy action': Jaitley

IANS  New Delhi, March 13, 2013
First Published: 15:35 IST(13/3/2013) | Last Updated: 11:15 IST(14/3/2013)

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said Italy's decision not to return its marines guilty of killing Indian fishermen was "enemy action" and urged India to "forget diplomacy" and take action.

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Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley also said that the government should consider action against the Italian ambassador.

"This is an outright fraud against the government of India and Supreme Court by a sovereign nation. This is a case of state-sponsored abduction," Jaitley said.

"They have broken every rule of democracy, it is time for the government of India to act. This now must be treated in the category of enemy action," he said.

He also said that since the Italian ambassador had given an undertaking in the Supreme Court, action could be initiated against him.

"The ambassador had on behalf of the government of Italy submitted to the Supreme Court. Once you have submitted, you don't have diplomatic privileges," he said.

"The law minister may examine the post constitutional treaties, including Vienna convention... it cannot overwrite the constitution of the country. We should forget diplomacy," Jaitley added.

The Supreme Court in February allowed the marines - Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone - to fly to Italy to vote in the Feb 24-25 national elections. The marines are guilty of opening fire and killing Indian fishermen, mistaking them for pirates.

The shooting incident occurred Feb 15 last year, and the marines had been standing trial in India, first in the Kerala High Court and then in a special court appointed by the Supreme Court.

The apex court was given an undertaking that the marines would return in four weeks to face legal proceedings in India.

The Italian embassy on Monday informed New Delhi that the marines would not be returning to India.

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