The Supreme Court Tuesday took strong exception to the request of one of the two Italian marines, facing murder charges for shooting two Kerala fishermen to death, to let him stay in Italy till May 2015, observing the Indian judicial system should not be taken for granted.
A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu refused to let Massimiliano Latorre remain in Italy after January 16, when the time granted by SC to stay there expires. The SC had on September 12 allowed Latorre to go back home as he suffered a brain stroke and required medical treatment. Latorre approached the court with a fresh plea on the ground he was to undergo a heart surgery on January 8, next year. He asked for four months of extension to recuperate.
“If you have your rights, even a victim has. The same yardstick has to apply to all and this is a murder case,” Justice Dattu told Latorre’s counsel senior advocate Soli Soarbjee. Noting the court’s displeasure Sorabjee requested the court to let the marine remain in Italy for two more months.
The CJI refused to relent. “In ordinary circumstances we don’t let a murder accused leave even the place of incident. But, here we allowed you to travel and gave time for treatment. You, however, did not do anything and now when the deadline is approaching you move an application. This case is of 2013 and even a chargesheet has not been filed,” he said.