Centre, Kerala get SC notice over Italian ship case

Centre, Kerala get SC notice over Italian ship case

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and the Kerala government on a petition filed by the Italian government seeking quashing of criminal cases registered against two marines arrested for allegedly killing two fishermen.

A bench of justices Altamas Kabir, S S Nijjar and Ranjan Gogoi sought the responses from the Centre and the Kerala government within two weeks, after the petition filed by Italy’s ambassador contended that the Kerala government had no jurisdiction to act in the incident.

Senior counsel Harish Salve submitted that the incident had taken place in international waters, 12 nautical miles beyond the India’s jurisdiction, hence had to be treated under the international law. 

He claimed that the action undertaken by the two marines was part of their official duty and the Italy government had taken responsibility for it.

Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising questioned the maintainability of the petition saying that the Italy government could not invoke writ jurisdiction as it was available to a person only.

A separate bench is hearing a petition filed by MT Enrica Lexie challenging the Kerala High Court’s order for detaining the ship following the February 15 killing.

On April 20, the Centre had to issue press statements after a government’s law officer questioned the Kerala’s government’s action of detaining the ship at the port amid the opposition by the state counsel.

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