Let Italy compensate fishermen’s families: Top Court's condition to close marines case

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New Delhi, Aug 07: The Supreme Court on Friday said the case against two Italian marines who shot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012 will be closed only when Italy compensates the families of the victims.

"Let Italy pay them compensation. Only then will we allow the withdrawal of prosecution," Chief Justice SA Bobde said.

The SC, which was hearing a plea filed by the Centre to let it withdraw the case against Italian marines, said it will only allow Centre's plea to close cases against two Italian Marines after it hears fishermen's families.

The bench allowed the Centre to file fresh plea making the victims' family members parties to its application for seeking closure of Italian Marines case.

When the bench insisted that adequate compensation should be paid to the family members of the victims, Mehta said the Centre will ensure that maximum compensation is given to them.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, that Italy has assured the Indian government that it would prosecute the Marines.

On July 3, the Centre moved the top court seeking closure of judicial proceedings here against the two Italian marines accused of killing Indian fishermen, off the Kerala coast.

The Centre said it has accepted the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at the Hague which held that India is entitled to get compensation in the case but can't prosecute the marines due to official immunity enjoyed by them.

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