April 21st, 2012
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Central government to remove ASG Haren Rawal

enrica-leslie New Delhi: The additional solicitor general Haren Rawal who spoke on behalf of the Central government before the Supreme Court shall be removed, said Mr Veerappa Moily. Additional Solicitor General Haren Rawal told the Supreme Court that Kerala police had no jurisdiction to probe the incident or to to detain the ship as the incident occurred in high seas. The Solicitor General’s stand raised questions over the future of the criminal cases against the Italian marines.The Supreme court that listened to the ASG said, “Are you saying that Kerala police have no jurisdiction to probe?” “It is very unfortunate and it can’t be acceptable.  How can you take such a stand, when two Indian citizens have been killed?” it said. The ASG insisted this was the Centre’s stand. The Bench then indicated that the detained ship be allowed to leave India after it imposed certain conditions.

Later in the day, however, the Ministry of Shipping issued a press release claiming that Mr. Raval had spoken without the Central government’s consent when he said the Kerala police had no jurisdiction to detain the Italian ship. “The Central government has not filed any affidavit in the matter,” it stated, “nor any such instructions were given to the government counsel.”  “There is no difference of opinion between the Centre and the State government.”

“We reiterate that India retains jurisdiction over the ship involved. Therefore, the stand taken by counsel in Supreme Court is a personal opinion and wholly inconsistent with India’s stand,” the MEA said in a statement. The Congress sought to downplay the faux pas.When the case shall be presented before the apex court on April 30th either the Attorney General or the Solicitor General shall appear on behalf of the central government. Kerala Chief Minister and several other congress ministers have taken a stand against the Central government. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, “We took a position that these Italian Navy people committed crime under Indian law. We took action against them. We’ll continue that action.”

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy speaking to media persons after holding talks with Madhusoodanan Mistry, AICC general secretary in-charge of Kerala said the Kerala government has conveyed to the Attorney General its strong protest over the Additional Solicitor-General’s submission before a Supreme Court Bench on Friday. Mr Chandy said that the Kerala government has also requested the Centre not to allow Mr Raval to appear for the case again.



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