'Let Italy pay them compensation': SC on Centre's plea to withdraw case against marines who killed Indian fishermen
New Delhi/IBNS: The Supreme Court on Friday said Italy should compensate the families of the fishermen, shot by Italian sailors sailors in 2012 off the Kerala coast.
"Let Italy pay them compensation. Only then will we allow the withdrawal of prosecution," Chief Justice SA Bobde said, reported NDTV.
The Centre requested the top court to allow it to withdraw the case against the sailors following the decision of a UN tribunal and said that Italy had assured it would criminally prosecute the accused.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) located in Hague ruled that the marines enjoy immunity and cannot be tried in Indian courts, but, it said India is entitled to compensation "in connection with loss of life, physical harm, material damage to property and moral harm suffered by the captain and other crew members of the fishing boat that came under fire, St. Antony", the report added.
However, the Supreme Court said the marines can be released only after Italy paid the compensation and asked the Centre to make the families of the victims to the case within a week.
"Bring the cheques and the relatives of victims here," said the Chief Justice, quoted the NDTV report,adding that it would need to listen to the families of the victims before allowing the withdrawal of the cases, the report added.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre told the top court that Italy in a letter has assured that both the marines would be criminally prosecuted and maximum compensation would be paid to the victims' families.
The two Italian marines are charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.