The Supreme Court bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M.R. Shah on Friday deferred the pronouncement of its order on the Italian marines’ case to June 15.
The bench heard arguments in the plea by the Central government, seeking to close the criminal cases against the two Italian marines in India after accepting the compensation offered by Italy.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the Centre and submitted, “As a nation, we have accepted the Rs 10 crores as compensation from the Italian government and there is no dispute as to the quantum of the compensation. The only thing remains is apportionment of the money.
The bench expressed its concern as to how this amount will be given to the victim’s family. To this, the Solicitor General said that Rs 4 crore will be given to the families of the 2 fishermen each and Rs 2 crore will be given to the port owner.
Justice Shah said: “Rs 4 crore is a very big amount. We need to protect the interest of the victims (fishermen’s family).
The SG Tushar Mehta suggesting a solution to the bench said: “In this kind of cases the amount is first deposited to the bank. The victim families can initially for some time withdraw the interest of that amount and after some time they will be allowed to withdraw the money.”
To this Justice Shah said: “To protect the interest of the families of the victims, we will direct that the money to be deposited in the high court and then the high court can decide the manner in which the money will be given to the families of the victims.”
The bench then directed that the counsel appearing for the Government of Italy that the criminal proceeding in Italy against the two marines shall continue. The bench then concluded the hearing said, “the matter will be taken on Tuesday, June 15 to pass orders.”