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Fishermen killing: Supreme Court questions Kerala govt.’s stand

The Supreme Court today sought the Italian government’s stand on a plea for release of its vessel Enrica Lexie whose two marines allegedly had shot dead two Indian fishermen, Jalastine and Binki, in February.

During the two-hour-long argument, the apex court also questioned the Kerala government as to why it did not oppose the compromise reached between the families of the deceased fishermen and the Italian vessel’s owners, who reportedly paid Rs. one crore to each victim’s family.

A bench of justices R. M. Lodha and H. L. Gokhale reserved its order on vessel’s owner Dolphin Tankers’ plea for release of the ship for 10.30 am tomorrow, by which time the Italian government too was asked to file its reply.

Referring to the compromise, the apex court bench said, “This is a challenge to the Indian judicial system, this is impermissible. It is most unfortunate.”

The apex court also indicated that it was not in favour of detaining the vessel crew and the two marines unless their presence was required by the investigating authorities.

The bench made it clear that not only the citizens of this country but even foreign nationals, present in the country are entitled to the protection as per Article 21 which grants right to life and liberty to everyone in India.

Earlier on April 23, the court had sought the response of the Centre and the Kerala government on Italian government’s plea to quash the criminal cases against its two merchant navy personnel.

The special leave petition was filed by Enrica’s owners, Dolphin Tankers questioning the Kerala High Court’s order staying the release of the vessel.

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Posted by on Apr 30 2012. Filed under Kerala News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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