The Supreme Court on Tuesday vacated its order restraining Italy's Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India as the two Italian marines, accused of killing two fishermen, returned to face the proceedings as per commitment given by him to the court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir vacated its March 14 order by which it had restrained the Ambassador from leaving the country after the Italian government had refused to send back the marines.
The court also directed the Centre to take immediate steps for setting up a special court to hold proceedings against Italian marines Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, who had allegedly killed two fishermen off Kerala coast last year.
The court had on March 14 asked the envoy not to leave the country without its permission. The bench had on March 18 expressed its anguish over the ambassador "reneging" from his undertaking to the court on the return of the marines. It had said that the envoy had breached its trust over his undertaking on return of the marines and had also told him that he did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.
Sensing the mood of the apex court, the Italian government later agreed to send back the marines and they reached India within the time limitation fixed by the court.
The two marines, who were allowed by the apex court on February 22 to go to Italy for four weeks to cast their vote in the general elections there, had returned on March 22.
The bench had on March 18 also said that the period of four weeks for which the marines were allowed to go to Italy to cast their vote was yet to be over and they still had time to return.
On February 22, the apex court had questioned the government as to why it was "dragging its feet" on the issue of setting up a special court for trying the two Italians. It had also taken exception to the Centre not following its January 18 direction to consult the Chief Justice of India for setting up a special court.
Image: Italy's Ambassador Daniele Mancini