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Enrica-Lexie Case : Supreme Court To Hear Centre's Plea To Dispose Pending Applications On April 9

Srishti Ojha
7 April 2021 10:51 AM GMT
Enrica-Lexie Case : Supreme Court To Hear Centres Plea To Dispose Pending Applications On April 9

Supreme Court has on Wednesday agreed to hear on Friday, April 9th the interim application filed by the Union of India in the matter of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012.

A three-judge Bench of CJI Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian made the observation after a request for urgent hearing was made by SG Tushar Mehta during the mentioning.

Before the Court today, SG Mehta made a request for urgent hearing of an IA filed by Union of India in the matter pertaining to Italian marines and shooting incident.

"We had asked you to obtain some orders from Trial Court." CJI asked Mehta

SG Mehta submitted that the matter is now settled. The Court had on last occasion asked the government to contact the victims. The victims were contacted and they have been compensated. He added the matter only is to be disposed and nothing has to be adjudicated

In response to the Court's observation that they matter will be heard next week, SG Mehta requested the Court to take it up on Friday. He stated that there is some urgency involved as the matter is between Italian & Indian government.

The Apex Court had in August 2020 refused to close the pending cases against two Italian Marines, without hearing the families of the victims. The Court had asked the Centre to implead the victims in the case and said that they should be paid adequate compensation.

"We want you to pay not reasonable but "adequate" compensation. You will bring the cheque here and submit it before this Court. Mr. Mehta, join the victims' families as parties here", CJI SA Bobde had told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The Union of India had filed an Application, seeking the closure of all the pending cases against two Italian Marines who had been accused of killing two fishermen from Kerala by mistaking their fishing boat for a pirate boat and opening fire at it. The application was filed in the light of the award passed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the dispute between India and Italy over the firing incident which took place near the shores of Kerala in February 2012.

On July 2, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rendered its judgement, unanimously holding that India is entitled to claim compensation from Italy. It also held by a 3:2 majority that the Marines are entitled to immunity in relation to the acts that they committed during the incident and that India is precluded from exercising its jurisdiction over the Marines.

On February 15, 2012, the fishing boat 'St. Antony' set sail from Neendakara harbor in Kollam district in Kerala, when at a distance of about 20.5 nautical miles from the coastline, their fishing boat passed "Erica Lexie", a tanker flying the Italian Flag.

The fishing boat was mistaken for a pirate boat and two marines aboard the ship , Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone had opened fire at it resulting in death of two fishermen, Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki.

After the ship proceeded about 38 nautical miles on the High Seas it had received a message from the Maritime Rescue Co - ordination Centre, Mumbai, asking it to return to Cochin Port to assist with the enquiry into the incident.

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