April 20th, 2012
Email this page

Kerala police has no right to investigate or detain ship: Centre

italian-crewNew Delhi: The Central government told the Supreme Court that the Kerala Police neither had the right to conduct investigations into the killing two Indian fishermen by Italian Marines nor had the right to detain the ship as it was outside their jurisdiction. The additional solicitor general who spoke on behalf of the Central government stated that the incident occurred in international waters.  The Supreme Court heavily criticised the stand of the Central government and stated that the government should keep in mind that the deceased were none other that Indian fishermen.

Interestingly the Centre had till sometime back strongly supported the Kerala police and the fishermen. SM Krishna who had met Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said that that the Centre backs Kerala’s stand on the matter. “The Kerala government rightly took the Italian Marines into custody. The court will decide as to how this impasse can be resolved,” the minister had declared. “This does not impact cordial relations with Italy,” he added. Chief Minister Mr Oommen Chandy had clearly said, “Our stand is very clear, very open…The two soldiers of Italy committed a crime within the purview of Indian law…They have to face this trial. That is our stand.”

The sudden change in the stand of the Centre is seen as a political decision. Opposition parties have pointed their fingers at Sonia Gandhi who they feel engineered such a change in the attitude of the Centre. Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanjoor Radhakrishnan said that further action shall be taken after consultation with senior legal experts. The Italian government had approached the Supreme Court today seeking the release of the two navy personnel accused of killing two Indian fishermen. The vessel owners have also requested the release of the vessel since the two Italian marines have been taken into custody. Marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi who have been have been charged with murder are presently under judicial remand at the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram under judicial remand. Italy has reportedly offered Rs 1 crore as compensation to the families of the two fishermen who were killed in February this year when two marines on board an Italian ship, ‘Enrica Lexie’, fired at them, allegedly believing them to be pirates.


Press ctrl+g to toggle between English and Malayalam.