NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear pleas of murder accused Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre seeking extension of his stay in Italy on health grounds and his fellow marine permission to travel there for Christmas.
“The trial has not commenced. Even the chargesheet has not been filed. It does not happen anywhere in the world. We are sorry,” a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said leading them to withdraw their applications. “You finish the trial and go back once for and all,” the Bench said. Senior advocates Soli Sorabjee and KTS Tulsi, appearing for the marines, said that even the Centre had no objection to the extension of stay of Latorre on health grounds.
“The Solicitor General may not object, but we want the system to work,” the Bench said adding, “Let him come. Let the chargesheet be filed. You know that the chargesheet cannot be filed in the absence of accused. We aren’t going to allow the application.”
On this, Sorabjee said that Lattore had heart surgery scheduled on January 8, 2015, in Italy and he may be permitted to stay further for a period of two more months. The second marine Salvatore Girone had sought permission to travel to Italy for Christmas. Earlier on September 12, the court had allowed Lattore to travel to his country for medical treatment for four months after the Centre had said that in principle it has no objection to the plea.
Latorre had sought permission from the court to go to Italy for his more rapid and complete recovery after he had suffered brain stroke on August 31.
The case pertains to the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by Italian marines Latorre and Girone onboard ship ‘Enrica Lexie’ off Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.