New Delhi [India], April 19 (ANI):The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the matter for a week, related to the closing of the criminal prosecution against two Italian marines for killing two fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012, as the compensation money of Rs 10 crore, as agreed by Italy, is yet to be deposited in the Indian Top Court.
The three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, asked the centre, where is the money (has it been deposited before the Supreme Court registry)?.
To this, the junior, to Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, replied that they (Italy) have initiated the transfer of money. He, however, said that the money is yet to be deposited.
To this, the CJI Bobde, led bench, sarcastically, commented that "You (The Centre) were only in a hurry last time but we also know how ministries work," and adjourned the matter for further hearing for a week.
The Supreme Court had in its last hearing on April 09, asked the Republic of Italy to deposit the compensation amount of Rs 10 crore, with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and after which, a decision would be taken to pay these amount to the families of the two Kerala fishermen killed by the two Italian Marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.
The Apex Court had in its last hearing, asked the Centre to furnish the account details of the MEA, so that the Republic of Italy can deposit the money in the account, and the SC can initiate the process of disbursing the money to the victims' families.
Unnikrishnan, one of the lawyers for the victims' (fishermen) families, had in the last hearing, told the Apex Court that he is yet to receive any money in the case.
The award is yet to be paid to the victims' families, and "no amount is paid as per the award yet," he had said this to the Apex Court in the last hearing.
Sohail Dutta, the lawyer appearing for the Republic of Italy had in the last hearing, told the Supreme Court that it is ready to pay the amount of compensation to the two families of the Kerala fishermen killed in 2012, while complying with the award passed on May 2020, by the International tribunal.
The Supreme Court was hearing the Central government's plea to close criminal proceedings pending in India against two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration had in July, last year, had given its decision saying that the two Italian marines - Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- will not be tried in India and in its judgment had ruled that India is entitled to claim compensation from Italy.
It had observed that the marines had violated international law and, as a result, Italy breached India's freedom of navigation, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On February 15, 2012, the two Indian fishermen were killed off the coast of Kerala by the two Italian marines on board the Italian-flagged commercial oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie. (ANI)