Kochi: Kerala High Court has dismissed a petition by the Italian Government seeking quashing of the FIRs against two of its marines, who allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the state coast in February and slapped a cost of Rs 1 lakh on it.
Dismissing the petition, Justice PS Gopinathan said that the Kerala Police has the jurisdiction to register the case since the incident occurred in the territorial waters falling within India's Exclusive Economic Zone making the Indian penal laws applicable.
The Judge said the marines cannot claim sovereignty and also pointed out that ''Enrica Lexie'' was not an Italian government vessel, but a private ship.
He directed the Italian embassy to deposit the money in two weeks.
The two marines - Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, arrested on February 19 are in judicial custody and lodged at the Borstal school in Kochi, which houses juvenile delinquents.
They have been charged with the murder of fishermen Valentine alias Jalestine and Ajesh Binki.
The petition filed by the Italian Consul General in Mumbai, Gian Paolo Cutillo, and the two accused had also sought a stay on all further proceedings in the case pending before a Kollam court.
They had contended that the Kerala Police had no authority to conduct investigation and courts in India have no jurisdiction as the incident occurred beyond the Indian territorial waters.
Story first published:
May 29, 2012 16:38 IST