No release of Italian vessel: SC

No release of Italian vessel: SC

No release of Italian vessel: SC

The Italy government and owner of that country’s ship — Enrica Lexie — on Monday took contradictory stand with regard to the jurisdiction of Indian laws in the killings of two fishermen, off Kerala coast.

This prompted the Supreme Court to keep the plea for the vessel’s release  pending before it.

A bench of justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale told the ship owner as well as Italy government to come before the court on Tuesday after holding discussion among themselves.

“You (ship owner) must settle the matter first with Italy government. Your government is the best person to look after your interest,” the bench told senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the ship owner.

The court, which indicated that it was ready to order release of ship, balked at issuing any direction after it was pointed out before it that Italy government had filed a writ petition in the apex court challenging the jurisdiction of Indian laws.

Venugopal said they were ready to submit to the jurisdiction of Indian government. “We have already suffered loss of Rs 200 crore. The ship remained seized since February 15, the date of incident…We are even ready to disembark the crew including the marines,” he said.

The counsel, appearing for Italy government pointed to  the pending petition before a separate SC bench which challenged the proceedings initiated by the Kerala government.  

The court which had given 5 minutes time to the counsel for clarification while dictating the order, adjourned the matter to Tuesday, after he stuck to the stand of Italy government. The court was hearing the petition filed by ship owner seeking direction to release the vessel.