Credits: PTI/REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE
While going against Centre's request to close the Italian Marines Case today, Supreme Court adjourned the hearing to next week. The Government had requested to close the case today however the Supreme Court refuted as ex gratia of Rs 10 crore was not received from Italy. According to the Indian Government, the transfer process has been initiated from Italy but India has not yet received it.
Chief Justice SA Bobde remarked to Government Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the court knows how timely these proceedings are done and so the case would not be closed until the money is deposited. According to the top court, the case was scheduled for a later date however on government request it was heard on Monday. The reason why the Indian Government was insisting upon fast hearing was that there was some urgency between India and Italy. The Centre was also directed by the International Tribunal that the two marines will be tried in Italy.
On February 15, 2012, Two marines, Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone allegedly killed Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala. Reportedly, the two Italian marines mistook the Indian fishing boat 'St Antony' as a pirate boat when it passed through the "Erica Lexie", a tanker flying the Italian Flag. India was entitled to get compensation from Italy on the death of fishermen however the country could not conduct a prosecution due to Marines' sovereign immunity.
On permission of the families of the victims who accepted the compensation, the Centre asked Supreme Court for the hearing. The Kerala Government distributed Rs 4 Crores each to the families of the two deceased fishermen, Rs 2 crores to the owner of the boat 'St Antony,' and earlier Rs 2.17 crores was paid by Italy to the families. The matter will be now heard next week.