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Italian Marines’ Case: Centre agrees to abide by PCA award precluding India's jurisdiction, seeks disposal of pending cases by Supreme Court

The Permanent Court of Arbitration yesterday ruled that India does not have the jurisdiction to try the two Italian marines for the murder of two Indian fishermen in an incident that took place in 2012.

Shruti Mahajan

The Central government has filed an application seeking the disposal of all pending pleas before the Supreme Court in relation to Enrica Lexie (Italian Marines case), in light of the award passed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) yesterday.

The PCA ruled that while India did not breach provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the case, it did not have the jurisdiction to prosecute Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.

Now, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that since it will abide by the award passed by the PCA, all the cases pending against two Italian nationals ought to be dismissed.

“The applicant states and submits that the Republic of India has taken a decision to accept and abide by the Award passed by the said Tribunal which would have the bearing on the continuance of present proceedings before this Hon’ble Court.”
Application filed by Centre

In 2017, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to place on record whatever award is passed by the PCA. In compliance with this direction, the Centre has brought the PCA’s award on record and has also sought for the disposal of the three pending pleas.

In 2014, the Supreme Court had stayed the criminal proceedings against the two marines that were conducted by the Special Court at Kollam in Kerala. Subsequently, in 2015, the Supreme Court also stayed all the proceedings before it as well as other courts in India in light of the order passed by the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which called for both nations to suspend all criminal proceedings against the two accused marines.

The decision of the PCA pertains to an incident of February 2012 when Latorre and Girone fired shots while on board the Enrica Lexie, an Italian vessel. These shots killed two Indian fishermen who were on board an Indian vessel, St. Anthony.

Besides precluding India’s jurisdiction, the award also held that India was entitled to claim compensation from Italy. The two countries are required to hold consultations to arrive at the amount of compensation.

This application was drawn by Advocate Rajat Nair and filed through Advocate BV Balaramdas.

Read Application:

UOI Application for disposal of pending cases against Italian Marines.pdf
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