New Delhi: The Italian envoy, Daniele Mancini, enjoys diplomatic immunity but the Supreme Court's directive restraining him from leaving the country will be followed, government sources said on Friday. Airports across the country were on Friday alerted to prevent Mancini from leaving the country as the standoff between Italy and India over the marines issue continues, sources said.
A notice was apparently sent to all immigration outposts in compliance with the SC order. Italy, however, insists that its ambassador enjoys diplomatic immunity and India cannot bar him from leaving.
The Supreme Court's notice to Mancini came after Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy filed a plea seeking action against the Italian ambassador for contempt of court as Mancini had assured the apex court that the two marines would return to India after casting their votes.
Govt sources said on Friday that although the envoy enjoys diplomatic immunity, he will still be barred from leaving India over the marines issue.
The court asked Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati to reply on Swamy's plea, following which the notice was issued to Mancini.
The court has sought an explanation from the ambassador on Italian government's decision of going back on its assurance to send back the marines to face trial in India. However, it is not essential for Mancini to appear before court personally.
The next date of hearing in the case against the Italian ambassador is March 19.
But what may be pointed out is that the Supreme Court's deadline to the Italian marines to return is March 22 and any action against the ambassador can be taken only after they fail to return by that date.