Italian cargo vessel owners undermining Indian legal process: Court
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 | 11:00
India’s top court has said that an Italian shipping company had tried to undermine India’s legal processes by paying
out $ 200,000 in an ‘out of court’ settlement with the families of two fishermen shot dead by Italian marines posted on-board the ship Enrica Lexie cargo ship earlier this year.
“It pains us, the manner in which the Indian legal process is sought to be defeated,” a Supreme court bench comprising of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale said, after the owners of the vessel last week signed the out-of-court settlement after paying $ 100,000 to the families of each of the killed fishermen.
In February this year, two Italian marines were arrested after much drama and diplomatic brinkmanship between India and Italy after a two Italian marines posted on the vessel Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, shot dead two Indian sailors, who they thought were pirates off the Indian state of Kerala, where the ship had docked.
Both marines are now arrested and placed in judicial custody, even as the ship’s owners have demanded that the 1000 ton cargo vessel be allowed to leave port, because it wasn’t ‘case property’.
The Supreme court has said that it does not intend to detain the cargo ship or the two marines unless their presence is required by the investigating authorities.
“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,” the justices said.
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