Italian marines case: Salman Khurshid blames R K Singh for botch up

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 25 2014, 05:10am hrs
Salman KhurshidWe can't settle law issue in terms of our changing loyalties and changing affiliation of political parties, says Salman Khurshid. Reuters
Justifying the dropping of anti-piracy charges against the two Italian Marines, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said it was "difficult" to prove these and appeared to blame former Home Secretary R K Singh for botching up the case.

"Are we happy or celebrating The Supreme Court has to address some things again and again. Who should be responsible for it I would imagine the person who was in the hot seat and who has to take the decision. He would be responsible," Khurshid said apparently referring to R K Singh. He was responding when asked about the government dropping the anti-piracy SUA law against the two marines and who botched up the case. R K Singh was the Home Secretary then.

"We can't settle law issue in terms of our changing loyalties and changing affiliation of political parties," Khurshid said on the sidelines of special convocation ceremony conducted by National Law University.

Asked why the government dropped the anti-piracy charges, Khurshid said that it was very difficult for anybody to say if the Italians were pirates. Heo added that the government will abide by the judgement of the courts.

"The government told the courts that these were Italian marines who, in their course of duty, have caused damage to our citizens including loss of life. Therefore they must be made accountable," he said.

"This is what we have said under the law. But court wanted to know whether they were pirates. It was very difficult for us to say they were pirates. So we said they are not pirates and therefore they cant be tried as one. This is something the court has to finally decide. Once the judgement is given to us, we will comply with that," he added.

Referring to the former home secretary, Khurshid said that a person whose whose views and versions have been vindicated by courts should answer why he had different view.

Replying to a question whether the government has gone soft on the case, Khurshid said that people who were soft in their heads were making allegations.

"We are not soft, we are worried that this, like any other trial, should have gone through by now. We are committed for rapid, fair and just quick trial," Khurshid said.

Referring to the anger in Italy, the minister said both countries have some expectations and since it was not a small thing as two persons have died, it was the government's duty that the law of the land prevails.

"It is our duty that the law of the land prevails in making somebody accountable for what has happened. We are not the ones to decide. The courts have to decide whether there is culpability or liability," he said.

He said it was "unfortunate" that due to various difficulties and complications, the chargesheet has not been filed in the case despite the passage of two years.

"We have gone to the Supreme Court in the hope that it will put at rest all issues that are arising so that the trial may proceed.

He said that Law is something which is based in logic and understanding of fundamental principles in the consitution and on that basis what the government was doing is the correct thing.