Treachery of Congress and BJP Governments in Italian Marines case

The case of 2 Italian Marines who killed 2 Indian fishermen is an issue used to get elected only to be cast aside once the objective is accomplished

Italian Marines - a case that shows the hypocrisy of both parties
Italian Marines - a case that shows the hypocrisy of both parties

The United Nations (UN) Tribunal’s Order on Thursday saving the two Italian marines who killed two Indian fishermen in Indian sea waters from the reach of Indian laws is a slap on the face of Indian Government as well as Indians in general. Both the Congress Government controlled by Sonia Gandhi and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have allowed this subversion of justice, bowing to Italy’s pressure.  Instead of writing a piece on this, I thought it is appropriate to present the chronology of the case as many Indian politicians always utter “Aap chronology samjhiye” (Please understand the chronology of events).

UPA Rule

    1. On February 15, 2012, there was a tussle in Indian waters at Kerala’s coast between ship staffers of ‘Enrica Lexie’ and Indian fishermen in boats about the sale of fish. Normally shippers buy fish from fishermen boats in the high seas. The spat started on the pricing of the fish and boatmen started blocking the ship and Italian Military guards started firing resulting in the death of two fishermen. The Indian Coast Guard took custody of the ship and Kerala Police arrests two Italian marines who were the killers.
    2. Italians and the local Church tried to pacify the dead fishermen’s family and paid money to settle the case but the Kerala High Court rejected the out-of-the-court settlement. The Italian marines were continuing to be held in Kerala jails.
    3. Enter Sonia Gandhi, an Italian by birth, who wades into the issue. Through a controversial order, the Chief Justice of India, Altamas Kabir takes over the case from the Kerala High Court. It is a known fact that he was well disposed towards the Gandhi family. Justice Kabir then orders the transfer of the Italian marines to the Italian Embassy in Delhi. Harish Salve was the Advocate of the Italian marines and during the last months of 2013, he files a bail petition seeking to allow these marines to go back to Italy to see families and celebrate Christmas. Chief Justice Kabir allows them to go for three months and the Congress Government controlled by Sonia Gandhi did not object.
    4. In April 2013, the Italian Embassy has the audacity to tell the Supreme Court of India that the Italian marines are not coming back! The following day, the then Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy rushes to the Supreme Court to initiate a Contempt of Court petition against the Italian Embassy and has a big fight with the Chief Justice Altamas Kabir. Sensing the public anger, Harish Salve declares that he would not represent the Italians anymore and Mukul Rohatgi becomes the advocate of the Italians. By that time, the entire BJP leadership including the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi start attacking Sonia Gandhi as the kingpin of this entire incident. Within weeks, due to the public outcry, the Italian Embassy brings back the Italian marines to Delhi. Till the May 2014 Lok Sabha election, Modi rakes up this incident and blames Sonia Gandhi. “Italian marines mercilessly killed our fishermen. If Madam is so ‘patriotic’ can she tell in which jail the marines are lodged in?” thunders Modi in a tweet on March 31, 2014. Modi was attacking Sonia for allowing the marines to be kept in the Italian Embassy in Delhi.

BJP rule

  1. Modi becomes the Prime Minister in May 2014, and the marines continue to stay in the Italian Embassy instead of jail. Italian marines second advocate Mukul Rohatgi becomes Modi’s Attorney General and the first Advocate Harish Salve is awarded a Padma Bhushan in 2015. All of a sudden, India agrees for the conduct of the case in a UN Tribunal. Indian could have rejected Italy’s application to shift the case to a UN Tribunal but chose not to do so. In 2016, India did not object to the Italian Marines petition in the Supreme Court to go back to Italy and they escaped to Italy.
  2. Now, on July 2, 2020, the UN Tribunal has ordered that India is eligible only for compensation but criminal charges can’t be conducted in India. A criminal trial can only be conducted in Italy. What kind of delivery of justice is this? Killed Indian fishermen were killed in Indian waters by Italians and the UN Tribunal says the criminal case can be conducted in Killers’ country.

Neither the UPA nor the BJP comes out of this smelling of roses. We can understand the sentiments of the Italian-born Sonia but et tu Modi?

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An inventor and out-of-the-box thinker, Sree Iyer has 37 patents in the areas of Hardware, Software, Encryption and Systems.

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  1. Further proof, if proof was required that Modi is but a Nehru in Saffron clothing who sports a turban instead of a Khangress topi and Maybach Glasses and Mont Blanc pens instead a a rose in the button hole. Modi has abandoned the BJP manifestos and promises right since 2004 in favour of pursuing Khangress and UPA policies with greater technology assisted viciousness. His first Act in 2004 was Sonia Gandhi’s Bill to send Neta Babus abroad for medical treatment at my expense while most Indians languish without access to competent or adequate Medical facilities inset ad of fixing India’s broken education and health service systems. He has restored and expanded all the doles, reservations and entitlements that steal from some for the benefit of others on the basis of caste, tribe, religion, gender, language, geography and proximity to power shredding the BJP manifesto for 2004 (the second item of which was :Equality under law”!). Let alone brinign the stolen billions back to the exchequer, instead of prosecuting those he accused of corruption to come to power, he has legalized corruption in his “Anti Corruption” law by criminalizing the victims of extortion (the so called “bribe giver”), election bonds, retrospective amendment to the FCRA and exempting lawyers from GST!
    A scoundrel of the highest order. More than a mere demagogue, he is a mass hypnotist, and a very cunning politician.

  2. Nice article (as always), Sree! I strongly urge you to do an expose on:
    (1) Mukul Rohatgi’s earnings shot through the roof after he came in contact with the late but notoriously slimy Arun Jaitly. I have this straight from a Supreme Court lawyer who’s very well connected with some of the top lawyers there.
    (2) How the holier-than-thou Harish Salve defended Salman Khan in the blackbuck case and succeeded in getting him bail against all odds.

  3. You’re absolutely right, though I did not expect such double standards from Narendra Modi’s government. As for Mukul ‘Rotting’ Rohatgi, PGurus should do an investigative article on this third-rate lawyer’s earnings before and after he came in contact with the late (but super-slimy) Arun Jaitly.

  4. I do not think Modi has time to look at fishermen issue after winning election.
    His law officers are the crooks, especially Mukul Rotting!

    Still have hope that Modi will overturn this matter, if not, Modi losses his leftover minimal credibility

  5. Is the author sure that a) the Incident was undisputably in Indian Territorial Waters? b) the dispute was over fish and not one of mistaken suspicion of piracy? c) after the SC judgement to hold them in the Italian Embassy there was a reasonable chance, without the fear of national humiliation, to get them and try them in Indian Courts? IF there are no satisfactory answers to these questions it can be argued that it would have been foolhardy to risk our relations with Italy and EU – which then included Britain – to chase the goose in getting them to be tried here. Bear in mind the strong support we have from EU on several issues of national importance now.

  6. These kind of atrocities have happened for 67 years but no one had the guts to say anything against a government or any political parties about their “CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS”…..!!! But today under a true transparent government, people can ask lot of questions which is good for real freedom of speech and media rights to report

    • Hats off to Mr Jino. One such incident which Official talk about in whispers, is the perpetual lease one of the Lakshadweep islands as a holiday station to ooe of the late Rajeev Gandhi’s friends while he was in his infamous whale saving holiday there. The clear implication of the restraints on India’s sovereignty on the island in the lease, apart from being infuriating, stresses India’s claims on some of the other islands which is disputed by our oceanic neighbours – if these officials are to be believed. The present Government must examine this lease and bring it into public domain.

  7. Modi budged to the pressure of Italians. Italians Advocate Harish Salve might be behind this. There was no need for India to agree for UN Tribunal. Italians pumped money to buy Indian leadership.

    • Most countries have some sort of special forces to grab people who threaten their citizens. The Americans, Europeans, Israelis all have this capability. Why don’t Indians? You think the Russians wouldn’t strike those who harms their country?

    • Harish Salve swings where the money lies. He defended Salman Khan in the blackbuck case and used his money and his political clout to get him bail. Shame on Harish Salve!


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