The Supreme Court on Friday held that the two Italian marines facing trial for killing two Indian fishermen off Kollam coast would not be tried by the Kerala government.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, however, added that the Union of India had the power to prosecute Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre in accordance with the Maritime Zones Act, 1976, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and under the provisions of UNCLOS 1982.
The bench further directed the government to set-up a special court to try the case. The constitution of such a court, which could be anywhere in the country, would be done in consultation with the CJI. SC further said the special court would reconsider the issue of jurisdiction as it gave both India and Italy the liberty to re-agitate the issue before it.
“The pending proceedings before the chief judicial magistrate, Kollam, shall stand transferred to the special court to be constituted in terms of this judgment and it is expected that the same shall be disposed of expeditiously,” the bench said while taking the marines into the custody of SC. Until a special court is set up the marines will remain in custody of SC.
The two at present are on bail and cannot travel outside. Modifying the Kerala High Court order, SC said the two marines shall not leave the “precints of the capital.”
“Once the petitioners have moved to Delhi, they shall upon the request of Italian embassy in Delhi, remain under their control. The Italian embassy also agrees to be responsible for the movements of the petitioners and to ensure that they report to the trial court,” the court ordered.