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Italian marines row: Baby steps towards special court

Nagendar Sharma & Jayanth Jacob  New Delhi, March 23, 2013
First Published: 01:29 IST(23/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:40 IST(23/3/2013)

The government on Friday approved the setting-up of a special court in the capital to begin the trial of two Italian marines for having allegedly killed two Indian fishermen in Kerala last year.


“The proposal sent by the ministry of home affairs has been approved by the law ministry in-principle. Other details are being worked out and the notification will be issued soon,” law minister Ashwani Kumar said.

The government hopes to get the necessary clearance from the Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir by next week, following which it intends to request the proposed court to take up the case on a fast-track basis.

“The special court will look into all aspects, including the issue of whether Indian courts have the jurisdiction to conduct the trial, being raised by the Italian government,” said a government official.

The SC had directed the government on January 18 to set up a special court. The Italian government’s plea, which stated that Indian courts had no jurisdiction in the case according to international conventions, was rejected by the SC.

A two-judge bench headed by Altamas Kabir had ruled that the trial be conducted by a special court to be set up by the central government after consulting the CJI.

The court had passed the order in response to a petition filed by the Italian government through its ambassador and had also made it clear that the Kerala government did not have any jurisdiction in the matter.

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