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Affidavit on Italian Marines Embarrasses Centre

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday took a controversial stand on the case of the killing of two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala by Italian marines onboard oil tanker Enrica Lexie, when i

Published: 21st April 2012 02:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:40 PM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday took a controversial stand on the case of the killing of two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala by Italian marines onboard oil tanker Enrica Lexie, when it stated in its affidavit in the Supreme Court that the State police did not have the right to register an FIR. A Bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale, termed the Centre’s stand “unfortunate” as “two Indian citizens have been killed.” Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal said the incident took place 20.5 nautical miles away from the Indian coastline whereas Indian territory extends to only 12 nautical miles, and therefore the Kerala police did not have the power to register the FIR.

Hours later, an embarrassed Centre distanced itself from Rawal’s position, stating that it was his personal opinion and not that of the government. Meanwhile, Italy on Friday approached the SC seeking custody of the marines, stating their detention was “illegal” as the Republic of Italy only recognises the Republic of India and not individual constituents like the State of Kerala.



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