New Delhi: Apart from being a huge embarrassment for the Indian government, Italy's decision of not sending back marines, charged with killing two Kerala fishermen, is also being seen an affront to the dignity of the Supreme Court and a betrayal of the good faith with which the marines were allowed to return to their country. The immediate options before the Supreme Court are to declare the marines proclaimed offenders.
The apex court can also forfeit Rs four crore bail bonds and ask for the assistance of Attorney General to resolve the issue. The twist in the case also lies in the fact that the court cannot take action against the Italian Ambassador who gave an undertaking for the marines as he enjoys diplomatic immunity.
At the same time, the case throws up several unanswered questions. They are:
1. Why did the government not insist on putting harsher conditions before letting the marines leave the country?
2. Will India impose trade sanctions on Italy for having flouting an Indian court order?
3. Will the Italian government prosecute the marines in their own country?