Center calls upon SC after foreign awards to close matters relating to the Italian Marines

The Union government has informed the Supreme Court that it has taken a decision to accept and abide by the International Tribunal’s award in killings of two fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012 by Italian marines.

The Tribunal set up under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) had on May 21, 2020, ruled that the criminal investigation into the matter involving two marines would take place in Italy due to sovereign immunity enjoyed by them, and India would be entitled for grant of compensation. 

In a plea filed in the SC on Thursday, the Centre asked the top court to close the matter pending before it.

On August 26, 2015, the top court had stayed the proceedings before it against the NIA probe, in view of the pendency of the issue before International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

On March 6, 2017, the court directed the parties to place on record the award passed by the Tribunal and list the matter to thereafter.

In an application, the Union government asked the court to dispose of the matter. 

Marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were aboard the Italian-flagged commercial oil tanker ‘Enrica Lexie’, were accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

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