NEW DELHI, March 14 (Xinhua) -- India's Supreme Court on Thursday asked Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini not to leave this country without its orders, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned of "consequences on bilateral ties" if Rome did not send back two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of the southern state of Kerala in February last year.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, also issued notices to the two marines -- Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone -- who were allowed by the apex court to go to Italy to cast their vote in the general elections there, following an assurance by the Italian envoy to send them back.
The court restrained the Italian envoy from leaving India in the wake of a public interest litigation filed by Janata Party chief and eminent advocate Subramanian Swamy as well as the submissions made by Indian Attorney General G Vahanvati in the Italian marines' case.
The prime minister Wednesday accused Italy of violating "every rule of diplomatic discourse" after Italy earlier this week refused to send back the two marines to India to face trial for killing the two Indian fishermen from on board an Italian merchant vessel which the duo were guarding in February 2012.
"They have violated every rule of diplomatic discourse and call into question solemn commitments given by an accredited representative of a government. If they do not keep their word there will be consequences for our relations with Italy," the Indian prime minister had told the parliament.
The two Italian marines, accused of killing the two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February last year, claim they mistook the fishermen for pirates. They were arrested and later released on bail awaiting trial at a special court in the national capital to be set up on orders of Supreme Court.
The incident has sparked a diplomatic row between India and Italy. While Italy insists the incident happened in international waters and so the marines be tried according to global maritime law, India says the firing took place in its territorial waters.