Anti-piracy personnel marooned in India need to submit two petitions to high court (4)
The 14 Estonian citizens among anti-piracy personnel detained and still unable to leave India are still waiting for the country's supreme court on whether it will take the case.
The men were acquitted of the charges - arms violations in Indian sovereign waters dating from an October 2013 arrest - but the case was appealed by prosecutors, and it is now wending its way through the system at what seems like a slow speed.
While noting that India did have a byzantine bureaucratic system, the Foreign Ministry's under secretary for political issues, Marina Kaljurand, said that the case was making relatively rapid headway.
"The fact that it has reached the supreme court in 18 months is a rapid solution by India's standards," she said.
"For the court to consider it faster, a petition to that effect must be submitted," said Kaljurand. "And only an attorney can do that. And for the men to be able to return home until the next court process, another petition must be submitted to allow them to leave India. As far as I know, those motions have not been made. It's a question for the lawyer why it hasn't been done."
The men's lawyers were hired by the US-headquartered company they worked for, Advanfort. Estonia is not a party to the proceedings, and the state is not currently considering hiring a lawyer for the 14 men, said Kaljurand.
"To look for something positive, the fact that the Indian Foreign Ministry and prime minister's office, they all admit the process has gone more slowly than it should," said Kaljurand.