The Supreme Court on Friday, August 7, spoke about the case of the Italian marines who shot two fishermen along the Kerala coast in 2012. The apex court told the centre that it would not close the case until it heard from the families of the victims regarding the compensation.
The Indian government gave assurance to the Supreme Court that the Italian government will be compensating the families. The bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian heard the matter.
Supreme Court on the Italian marine case
The Supreme Court on Friday said that it wouldn't close the case of the Italian marines —Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone or pass an order until the compensation was received by the families of the victims and the court was assured of the adequacy of compensation.
The Indian government represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the apex court that the Italian government has provided assurance that compensation will be paid to victims, adding that the Centre is ready to file a petition withdrawing prosecution against the accused Italian marines.
The Supreme Court bench, however, pointed out that the "families will have to be heard," as they would have a problem with it. Mehta argued that the Centre is willing to withdraw the prosecution because the Italian government has assured that the Italian marines will be prosecuted. The bench told the Centre, "bring the cheques and the kin of victims here," before it would decide to close the case and pass an order. The court also asked how the centre could come to the Supreme Court without going to the trial court in Kerala where the victims' families are a party and would have the opportunity to oppose the centre.
On February 15th, two fishermen were killed off the coast of Kerala while on the fishing vessel St Antony by the Italian marines on 'Enrica Lexie'. The NIA had investigated the matter in 2013. When the Indian Navy intercepted, it led to international conflict between India and Italy following which a long-drawn legal battle has been fought.