The NIA will investigate the case from the beginning and file the charge-sheet in an NIA special court or any other special court to be set up by the government in consultation with the apex court
The home ministry today handed over the probe into the alleged killing of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines off the Kerala coast to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The home ministry took the decision after the Supreme Court ruled that the Kerala government has no jurisdiction to prosecute the two marines—Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone—allegedly involved in the killing of the fishermen last year.
The NIA will investigate the case from the beginning and file the charge-sheet in an NIA special court or any other special court to be set up by the government in consultation with the apex court, home ministry sources said.
The ministry is likely to convey to the Supreme Court that since there is an NIA special court in Delhi, the high-profile case can be tried by it instead of another special court being set up.
The apex court on 18th January had said that the marines on board Enrica Lexie, accused of shooting dead the two fishermen in February last year, be shifted to Delhi and be under the ‘custody’ of the Supreme Court till the Centre constitutes a special court to hold their trial.
“The incident of firing from the Italian vessel on the Indian shipping vessel having occurred within the Contiguous Zone, the Union of India is entitled to prosecute the two Italian marines under the criminal justice system prevalent in the country,” the bench had said. The apex court had said that since the Kerala government had no jurisdiction to prosecute the two foreign marines, it had to be done by the Centre in a special court to be set up after consulting the Chief Justice of India.
The incident took place at a distance of about 20.5 nautical miles from the coastline of Kerala and, therefore, it occurred not within the territorial waters of the coastline of Kerala state, but within the Contiguous Zone, over which the state police of Kerala ordinarily has no jurisdiction, the court had said.
The Italian government had a fortnight back reversed its earlier decision not to send back to India the two marines, who had gone to Italy to cast votes in elections there.
Italy had reneged on its assurance to the Supreme Court on sending back the two marines but later gave in after the Indian government and the apex court took a firm stand with New Delhi warning that ties with Rome could be downgraded.
The FSLRC headed by Justice BN Srikrishna, invited about 27 persons and organisations for interactions. However, industry bodies like CII and Assocham, Planning Commission's deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and RBI's former governor Dr YV Reddy did not bother to engage in the interactions
The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), set up by the ministry of finance to review and rewrite the financial sector legislations, interacted with a wide variety of Indian and foregn experts. But strangely, some top finance officials, industry bodies and top think-tanks completely ignored this high level Commission. This is surprising, because the recommendation of the Commission would influence the Indian financial sector in a major way.
Those who preferred not to participate in the interactions with the FSLRC include Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of Planning Commission, Confederation of India Industry (CII), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Centre for Policy Research (CPR), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Dr YV Reddy, former governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Does this mean that the recommendations of FSLRC are not taken seriously by those in the know?
During the process to finalise its recommendations, the FSLRC headed by Justice BN Srikrishna, invited about 27 persons and organisations and six experts or external agencies for discussions on various topics. While all external agencies and experts participated in the interactions, only 21 out of 27 persons and organisations from India turned out for the same.
Here is the list of invitees for interaction with FSLRC...
1 R Gopalan
3 Dr C Rangarajan
4 * Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia
5 Dr Shankar Acharya
6 Dr Bimal Jalan
7 * Confederation of India Industry
8 * National Council of Applied Economic Research
9 * Centre for Policy Research
12 Dr Vijay Kelkar
13 Dr Percy S Mistry
14 Dr Raghuram G Rajan
15 FSDC Sub-Committee
16 Forward Markets Commission
17 Indian Banks’ Association
18 Prof Viral Acharya
19 Deepak S Parekh
20 National Stock Exchange of India
21 Multi Commodity Exchange of India
22 National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange
24 * Dr YV Reddy
25 Ashok Chawla
26 Rajiv Agarwal
27 Dr Avinash Persaud
* Did not participate in the interaction
External Agencies/Experts called on the Commission
1. City of London
2. Minister for Financial Services, Australia - Bill Shorten
3. Indo-US Business Council
4. US Federal Reserve Board Governor - Jerome H Powell
5. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco - John C Williams
6. Financial Services Authority, UK - Hector Sants
According to Morgan Stanley, due general lack of preparedness of key political parties plus administrative issues to conduct elections on short notice, general elections are unlikely in 2013
The political class is entering into election mode and the worst outcome of the new round of political uncertainty is an unfavourable shift in the fiscal towards social spending. The best result is that the government lifts the pace of reforms to reignite growth—because that will be critical to winning elections. Thus, project spending could get a lift in the next six months, says Morgan Stanley in a research note.
According to the research note, the market does not detest elections. “Indeed, it tends to trade flat or up ahead of elections. Industrials could be the big beneficiary so watch for performance of mid-caps in that sector,” the note said.
Voters gunning for development, governance and security
Morgan Stanley says according to its analysis of important elections from the past three years, there are three overreaching voter issues, security, development and governance (read: corruption).
History could be a poor guide for predicting election results
According to the research, long-term history of India's general elections could be a poor guide on four grounds, new voters, use of technology, rise in debt and higher voter turnout.
a) 120 million new voters will join the list from the last general elections, i.e. 17% of the 2009 voting population and 29% of those who actually cast a vote. Note the Congress party won 29% of the vote polled in 2009.
b) Technology will play a greater role. Not only has social media spread but cable television penetration has grown from 54 million to 132 million households over the past decade.
c) Young India’s rising aspirations alter the debates. These aspirations are best evidenced by the rise in debt, which represents the desire to spend future income. Nominal household debt added in the past five years exceeds the total debt households held in 2007.
d) Voter turnout is on a structural rise and that could be attributed to the importance young people accord to exercising their franchise. Given the number of first-time voters in the next elections and their agenda, expect surprises galore.
Elections fought over single ideas yet electorate is fragmented and diverse
Arguably, India’s potential growth rate has declined due to multiple factors and the risk of social chaos has risen amidst rising aspirations. The country needs assertive leadership to fix these issues, which could be the single idea to influence the results of the next general elections. To that extent, providing clarity on who will lead the government may work to the advantage of the concerned party. However, this is not as simple as it sounds given the nuances of coalition politics, says Morgan Stanley.
Who will be India’s prime minister in the 16th Lok Sabha?
Morgan Stanley sees a new face as India’s next prime minister. The research note discusses nine name, three each from the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and three other candidates, who would be key players to watch. Here are the names and reasons given by Morgan Stanley…
a. Narendra Modi: Phenomenal success as Gujarat CM and strong support from the party. The market will likely give a big thumbs up to ‘Namo’.
b. LK Advani: Old warhorse of the BJP with considerable respect across the political spectrum.
c. Sushma Swaraj: National leader who has approval from at least one of BJP’s crucial allies. Currently leader of the opposition in the Lower House.
a. P Chidambaram: Another person that the market would likely applaud, ‘PC’ comes with a strong track record as a minister in the four different governments over 20 years.
b. Rahul Gandhi: Has denied ambitions to be the PM but his party people will favour him strongly.
c. AK Antony: Trusted advisor of the Gandhi family and a relative non-controversial record as defence minister make him a favoured candidate post elections.
a. Mulayam Singh: Will hope to convert current stronghold in UP into more seats and stake a claim for the leadership of a third-front government.
b. Nitish Kumar: An ally of the BJP and could emerge as a consensus candidate in a post poll mix.
c. Mamata Banerjee: Aspirant for the position but may not enjoy support from other allies
Seven states critical to final result
According to Morgan Stanley, seven states, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Orissa could play important role in deciding the ruler at Delhi. These are the states that control about 312 Lok Sabha seats, out of which 142 seats are controlled by partners (past and present) of either Congress or BJP. Any party that can grab these seats would get to rule Delhi.
Role of regional parties
No doubt, regional parties have gained a share in the national vote over the past two decades. However, a resurgence of one of the two big national parties (Congress or BJP) should not be ruled out. History suggests that the results in six states will be crucial to the overall outcome, says the research note.