SC to decide on Italian marines' case: govt

SC to decide on Italian marines' case: govt

The Centre said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court will take the final call in Italian marines case after a UN Arbitration Tribunal settles the jurisdiction issue challenged by Italy to question India’s stand at the international court.

Making a statement on the UN Arbitration Tribunal’s ruling, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the order allowing accused Sergeant Salvatore Girone to return home from India pending trial has established and not questioned the SC’s authority.  He also added that if the jurisdiction is settled in India’s favour, the sergeant will have to come back to Delhi to face trial if the court desires so.

“We see the tribunal’s order not just as a recognition of India’s consistent positions and key arguments but also as an affirmation of the authority of the Supreme Court of India,” Jaitley said. Not satisfied with the statement of Jaitley, who read it out in the absence of ailing External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Congress staged a brief walkout at 2:20 pm while Odisha ruling party BJD also criticised the government for what it said toeing the Italy line before The Hague court which allowed the marine to return home.

Congress leaders, including its president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, expressed unhappiness over Speaker Sumitra Mahajan not allowing them to speak on Jaitley’s statement.

Mahajan said that nothing would go on record when Congress and BJD MPs were on their feet demanding to have their say. Subsequently, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu accused Congress of doing so because of the upcoming Kerala Assembly polls.

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