Following its consultations with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, the government has decided to set up a designated sessions court in New Delhi for the trial of Italian marines, law minister Ashwani Kumar said on Thursday.
“The CJI has been consulted, following which it has been decided to set up a designated court of sessions for the trial of marines accused of killing two Kerala fishermen,” Kumar said.
The minister also said the case has been handed over to the NIA, which on Thursday filed a fresh FIR and booked the marines on charges of murder, attempt to murder and under section 3 of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Maritime Navigation Act, 2002.
“We have filed the FIR after going through the chargesheet file by the Kerala Police,” said an NIA official when contacted.
Asked about Italian government’s argument that Indian courts do not have the jurisdiction to try its marines, the minister replied: “They are free to raise the issue of jurisdiction before this designated court, as per the January 18 SC order.”
Earlier, the government had asked the Delhi HC to nominate a chief metropolitan magistrate in Patiala House Court for the trial, but after consulting the CJI, it has decided to conduct the trial in a court empowered to deal with offences which carry a punishment of over seven years.