Millennium Post

No death penalty for Italian ‘killer marines’: Centre

The Centre on Monday dropped stringent anti-piracy charges against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012, sparing them possible death penalty in a move aimed at defusing a diplomatic row between two countries.

The Centre told the court that the contentious issue between India and Italy on slapping Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation And Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act (SUA) against the marines has been resolved as it has decided to go by the opinion of the law ministry, according to which provisions under the anti-piracy law are ‘not attracted’ in this case. Appearing before a bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan, Attorney General G E Vahanvati said the government has accepted the law minister’s view. The Italian government, however, opened a new front against the Centre by questioning the jurisdiction of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the case, saying that the agency cannot probe offences under the Indian Penal Code. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Italian government, submitted, ‘NIA cannot investigate IPC offences. Entire probe has been done by NIA which does not have sanction of law to proceed in the case.’
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