The National Investigation Agency finally managed to register an FIR against the two Italian marines - Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone - on the charges of shooting two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala.
The NIA has invoked the special anti-piracy act - the SUA - in its FIR which has provision for death penalty.
"After going through the chargesheet filed by the special investigation team of Kerala in the case, we have filed the FIR. The section mentioned in the FIR are the same as mentioned in the Kerala police chargesheet," said a senior NIA official.
According to NIA sources, their FIR in the case is just the initiation point of probe. At the moment they cannot go beyond the charges leveled by the Kerala Police against the two marines.
The Kerala Police had filed a chargesheet against the two marines under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 427 (mischief causing damage) read with section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Besides the IPC sections, the police had also invoked section 3 of the SUA (Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002).
The SUA lays down that the only punishment for causing "death to any person shall be… death."
This means that there is no latitude for a milder punishment in case of violence where the accused did not intend to kill the victim.
The NIA was informed by the government in on Thursday afternoon that the court of chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) in Patiala House complex here will be the designated court for initial court proceedings and later the trial will take place in a designated session's court.
But it was revealed by the government that in consultation with the Chief Justice of India (CJI), it has been decided to set-up a designated court of sessions for conducting the trial of two Italian marines. Government sources said the FIR in the case will go to the already functional special NIA court here.
Though, later any other session's court may be designated for the conduct of trial in this case by the Delhi high court.