NEW DELHI: Italy on Monday made a fresh plea before the Supreme Court saying that it has invoked international arbitration, challenging India’s jurisdiction to try its marines, accused of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast three years ago.
The apex court allowed one of the marines to remain in Italy for six more months on medical grounds.
Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha told a Bench headed by Justice A R Dave that India, being a signatory to the International Convention, would participate in the arbitration proceedings.
He asserted that India has jurisdiction to try the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, as the alleged offence had taken place in the Indian waters.
The marines onboard Enrica Lexie had allegedly killed fishermen on February 15, 2012, under the misconception that they were pirates.
The Bench sought response from the Union of India on the Italian Government’s fresh plea on international arbitration.
It asked the government to file its reply to the fresh Italian plea within two weeks and also gave two weeks after that to the Italian Government to file a rejoinder, if any.
The Bench also directed senior advocates Soli Sorabjee and K T S Tulsi, appearing for the marine, not to delay the hearing of the petition by which the jurisdiction of the NIA to probe the case has been challenged.
Tulsi said the plea challenging the NIA’s right to probe the deaths was filed as the Centre, in an affidavit, had said that the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act (known as SUA Act) does not apply in the case.
The court directed Latorre, who underwent a heart surgery in Italy, to file an undertaking that he would abide by its conditions within a week and ordered that the six-month extension would begin from July 15.
Latorre, who had suffered a brain stroke on August 31 last year, was allowed by the court on September 12 last to go home for four months.
Nithari Killings Case
The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of Nithari murders convict Surender Koli on a plea by the UP government against the Allahabad High Court verdict that commuted his death penalty to life term earlier this year.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India(CJI) H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy and Justice Arun Mishra issued notice to Koli on the UP government’s petition against the High Court order that had rapped it up for the inordinate delay in deciding Koli’s mercy petition.
In a separate case related to the appointment of 5 PSU Bank Heads. the SC on wondered why a 71-year-old man has challenged the process of appointment of heads of five public sector banks and even expressed suspicion of him being a front man.