ILNS: The Central government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that a transfer for compensation amount has been initiated by the Italian Government, but they were yet to receive it, during the hearing of a case, in which two Italian marines had allegedly shot two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.
The bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said, “We will keep it for next week, that is what we told you last week, we know how fast you are”!
The CJI asked the Centre, “You are supposed to deposit the money, where is the money?” To which, Advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the transaction has been initiated by the Italian government.
Advocate Nair, while speaking to India Legal said,
“Money has been deposited by the Italian Government, a transfer has been initiated by them, but we are yet to receive it. This is what has been intimated to us. As soon as we receive it, we will deposit it in the Supreme Court.”
The court had said that the case will be closed, only after hearing the victim’s families and once the adequate compensation is paid to them.
The Supreme Court had directed the Solicitor General to provide the bank account details of the Indian government within 3 days in which the Italian government will transfer the money.
The case pertains to February 15, 2012, when two Indian fishermen returning from a fishing expedition near Lakshadweep islands onboard fishing vessel St Antony were gunned down by two Italian marines on board oil tanker Enrica Lexie. The incident occurred around 20 nautical miles off the coast of Kerala. Shortly after the incident, the Indian Coast Guard intercepted Enrica Lexie and detained the two Italian marines— Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre.
An SLP was filed in the Supreme Court by the Marines, challenging a Judgement of the Kerala High Court, which held that the State had the jurisdiction to try these marines.
“The Italian Marines who had shot dead two Indians on board the fishing boat, registered in India while fishing in the Critical Zone (CZ)/Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India, are liable to the penal jurisdiction before the Indian courts,”-the High Court had noted.
Earlier on April 9, the apex court had refused to pass any order on the Centre’s plea seeking closure of the case. The court had said that the case will be closed, only after hearing the victim’s families and once the adequate compensation is paid to them. The SC had directed the SG to provide the bank account details of the Indian government within three days in which the Italian government will transfer the money.