NEW DELHI: Requesting the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to reject the submission of Italy in the marines case, India on Tuesday said the matter would have been resolved if Italy had cooperated in the case. After the conclusion of the second-day’s arguments, the verdict of ITLOS has been reserved and it will be announced on August 24 in Hamburg.
Responding to the submissions made by Italy, R Bundy, appearing on behalf of India, said, “Had Italy not filed the various applications before the courts in India, challenging the jurisdiction issue, things would have been solved by now. India has not gone back on its undertaking given to Italy so far, on the contrary Italy has changed its stance twice before the courts.”
Bundy also argued that the flip-flop in the case is Italy’s own making and it is certainly not India’s fault. Giving examples before the Tribunal, Bundy said a Special Court was set up only after Italy’s appeal as they said Kerala had no jurisdiction over the case. He said despite that, they (Italy) challenged the jurisdiction of the Special Court.
“Italy and marines have not been silent as claimed by Italy but they blocked the NIA probe by petitioning against NIA’s jurisdiction in the SC,” he argued. Additional Solicitor General P L Narasimha, representing India, said, “It is not correct to say that the marines are not aware of the charges against them. They were given plenty of opportunities to explain their stand.”
He also explained that the Indian courts had supported Italy and marines throughout and since the question of jurisdiction was raised by marines before the Supreme Court, charges could not be framed against them. Narasimha also said that Indian courts had protected the marines throughout the pendency of the case for over three years.
“It is wrong to say that India has pre-judged the case. Our courts function under the well-established Constitution and we will not go beyond the same. We assure that the procedure adopted would be fair, just and reasonable.”