Italian Marines’ Case: SC needs to listen to victims’ households earlier than closing case

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 7

The Supreme Court on Friday stated it want to hear the family members of the 2 Indians killed by the Italian marines, off the coast in Kerala in 2012, earlier than closing the case.

“First, let Italy pay them compensation, only then we will allow withdrawal of prosecution. Bring the cheques and the victims’ kin here,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde informed Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta.

A day after a global tribunal dominated that India didn’t have jurisdiction to strive the 2 Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in Kerala, the Centre, on July 3, had moved the Supreme Court searching for disposal of the case pending earlier than it.

In an utility filed within the prime court docket, the Centre had stated it had accepted the award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) underneath the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“…the Republic of India has taken a decision to accept and abide by the Award passed by the said Tribunal, which would have the bearing on the continuance of present proceedings before this Hon’ble Court,” the Centre had submitted.

On Friday, Mehta stated Italy had assured India that it might prosecute the marines.

As the Bench requested concerning the adequacy of compensation to be paid to the households of the victims, Mehta stated the Centre would be sure that most compensation was paid to them.

But the Bench made it clear that it might not go orders for closure of the case in opposition to the 2 Italian marines with out listening to the victims’ households.

It requested the Centre to file an utility inside per week to make the victims’ households events to its plea searching for closure of the case in opposition to Italian marines.

“We cannot think of any relief for Marines till their prosecution is not withdrawn in Kerala court,” the Bench stated.

“We are willing to file a petition for withdrawing prosecution of the two marines,” Mehta stated whilst the CJI stated victims’ households must be heard.

In its utility, the Centre stated it might abide by the award in killings of two fishermen by Italian Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who had been on board the Italian-flagged industrial oil tanker, MV Enrica Lexie, once they allegedly fired at two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

“India, being a Party to the UNCLOS, in accordance with the provisions of the UNCLOS and the Rules of Procedure agreed by the Parties, the Award is final and without appeal and shall be complied with by the parties to the dispute (Article 11, Annex VII, UNCLOS),” it stated.

The Hague-based tribunal on July 2 dominated that the 2 marines needs to be tried in Italy and requested the Indian authorities to shut the legal case in opposition to them.

The tribunal, nonetheless, agreed with India’s competition that the Italian marines broke the liberty of navigation facet of the UNCLOS and, subsequently, the killed fishermen’s kin had been entitled to compensation.

Italy had provided Rs 1 crore compensation in 2012 to the household of every of the killed fishermen. Now, India and Italy must work out the blood-money. They can transfer PCA in case of any disagreement.

New Delhi had alleged that the 2 Italian marines aboard the Italian industrial oil tanker killed the Indian fishermen.

The Supreme Court, in 2014, had stayed the legal proceedings in opposition to the 2 Italian marines earlier than a particular court docket at Kollam in Kerala. In 2015, it halted all proceedings earlier than all courts in India in view of an ITLOS order calling upon India and Italy to droop all legal proceedings in opposition to the 2 marines.

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