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Centre to SC: Italy to pay Rs 10 Crore compensation to kin of fishermen killed by marines

Elisha Vaswani

The family of the two fishermen that lost their life, will be given a hefty compensation of 4 crore each, while the owner of the boat who suffered injuries shall be awarded 2 crore in the form of damages, the Centre stated.

On Friday, the Centre apprised the SC that the government of Italy has decided to pay 10 crores by way of compensation to the surviving kin of the fishermen.

Due to the pleas of the government, the conclusion of the criminal proceedings against the two Italian Marines who are the prime accused, shall be heard in the Supreme Court today.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, pushed for an urgent hearing of it’s application. His submission regarding compensations were heard by the bench headed by CJI, S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramaian.

Originally, the court insisted that it would be hearing the matter in the coming week, but the SG preferred that he be granted an earlier date, his reason for the same being urgency, “there is some urgency since it is between the Indian and Italian government”.

The government, in July, 2020 had informed the Apex Court that it would accept the award granted on May 21, 2020 by the International Arbitral Tribunal.

The government keenly desired the proceeding to be disposed of in view of said award and it’s acceptance.

The Kerala Police had registered a case against the marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were posted on Enrica Lexie.

They have been accused of shooting and killing two Indian fishermen on board their fishing vessel St Antony. The marines had apparently mistaken the fishermen for pirates.

The tribunal, believes that India is fairly entitled to compensation for the loss of lives. The verdict passed mentioned that the Italian marines could not be tried in India in view of the immunity enjoyed by them.

Directly after which, a petition in the Kerala High Court, challenging the state’s jurisdiction to investigate the matter was filed by the duo.

The above plea was timely dismissed, and followed by an appeal to the Supreme Court.