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ASG to represent Govt in Italian vessel case

New Delhi: Government today decided to replace the Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval with Attorney General G E Vahanvati to represent it in the Supreme Court in the case involving detention of an Italian ship after Raval`s remarks in the apex court last week drew the ire of Kerala government.

G E Vahanvati has been asked to represent the Centre`s case before the apex court instead of Raval, sources in the Law Ministry said here. Raval had told a bench that he had doubts whether Kerala Police had jurisdiction over the Italian ship as it was in international waters when two of its marines had shot dead two Kerala fishermen allegedly mistaking them for pirates.

In a fax message to Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday, Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy wanted to know under what circumstances Raval had submitted in the Supreme Court that India has no jurisdiction to detain the Italian ship `Enrica Lexie`. Chandy wanted the Centre to engage the Attorney General in the case in place of Raval.

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