Sanjay Hegde, Senior SC lawyer joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on Rome's decision to send the undertrial Italian marines back to India.
Q. Was it India's uncompromising tough stand that forced Italy's hands? Asked by: Panicker M
A. India as a nation stood firm that the Supreme Court must be obeyed.
Q. Will Indian courts allow the Indians to go home for elections in the same way? Asked by: SANKAR
A. Indian undertrials do not have the right to vote.
Q. What prompted this sudden change of heart? Asked by: Alaskar
A. The Italian ambassador must have conveyed the depth of outrage that even the Supreme Court was being sought to be deceived. The Italians finally had to honour their solemn undertaking.
Q. What if the govt has given some out of court assurances? Wiil it affect the judgement? Asked by: SANKAR
A. The Government does its work but the courts are independent of the government.
Q. Has the govt already agreed to let them serve their sentence in Italy i.e. if they are convicted? Asked by: Samuel
A. That is mutual agreement which also helps Indians serving time in Italy to return to an Indian prison where their families can access them.
Q. Salman Khurshid has already stated that they won't get death as it is not a rarest of rare case. I always thought that was up to the judge to decide? How can a minister make such a statement? Asked by: Biplab Bose
A. The judges will decide independent of the minister's opinion. The charges will be framed however by the prosecution who might listen to suggestions.
Q. It is not in our countries interest to doubt the action of our govt. It is a victory for our democracy and tough stand taken by SC and govt and people at large. It will send a tough signal to the world that India can not be taken for a ride. It is my opinion. What do you think. Asked by: vasan
A. Well the west must get used to us not necessarily bending backwards to oblige them.
Q. Isn't this whole drama a repeat of Bofors? Now Khurshid in his excitement indicated the back door politics played by Congress. Its a win-win for both Italy and Congress. What about SC and we citizens? Asked by: Aditya
A. I don't agree with you. This only shows that we are subject to the rule of law and it is enforced strictly without exception.
Q. Is there any provision in Indian Judicial system to give assurance regarding the punishments by the Government? Asked by: Salam VP
A. Just a reminder that we gave similar assurances to get Abu Salem to trial.
Q. Have there been deals to ensure that the two, if convicted, get lenient sentences and can serve the same in Italian jails? Asked by: Pawan
A. The Government may have made assurances. Diplomacy is about deal making. Remember the nuclear deal? Nothing bad abt deals per se.
Q. It was said that there are 109 Indian under trials in Italy, Can we now ask the Italian government to send them back to India for celebration of holy and other festivals? Asked by: Prathap
A. Italian Courts may not be as kind hearted.
Q. Is the Indian government bearing all the travel cost of the Italian Marines, if so then why is the government giving special treatments to these persons who are under trial. Infact why are they even allowing them to travel anywhere let alone outside India? Asked by: Vaibhav
A. The court order permitted them to return by 22. They are doing so. Der aaye durust aaye. Travel costs are Italy's I believe.
Q. Based on Indian-Italy relations:- 1) Why would the newly elected Govt in Italy would take such an extreme step? 2) Why would they play all their cards in-advance when the dead-line was on 22nd of march? 3) Why would they make sudden changes right after India voted against Sri Lanka meaning a stand with EU union. 4) Why would Indian External Affairs Minister would pass his suggestions on Court's jurisdiction? Asked by: Aditya
A. These relate to diplomacy and are beyond my legal competence or interest.