This Article is From Jul 03, 2020

India Accepts UN Arbitration For Compensation In Italian Marines Case

The two marines are accused of killing two unarmed Indian fisherman off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012

India Accepts UN Arbitration For Compensation In Italian Marines Case

The centre in its petition filed in the top court said India is a party to the UNCLOS

New Delhi:

The centre has approached the Supreme Court seeking closure of judicial proceedings in India against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, off the Kerala coast, saying it has accepted the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration or PCA at the Hague that held that India is entitled to get compensation in the case, but can't prosecute the marines due to official immunity enjoyed by them.

The judges at the Hague-based PCA ruled by three votes to two that the Italian marines enjoyed immunity and cannot be tried by Indian courts.

The two marines are accused of killing two unarmed Indian fisherman off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012. The marines had appealed in the top court against the Kerala High Court's decision that the state can prosecute them. Both are now back in Italy.

In March 2017, the top court directed the centre and the marines to place on record the proceedings of the arbitral tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS.

The centre in its petition filed in the top court said India is a party to the UNCLOS and the decision of the tribunal has to be accepted. The UNCLOS delivered its award on May 21 this year, which upheld the conduct of the Indian authorities and criticised the action of the Italian marines.

Italy and India had concurrent jurisdiction over the incident but immunity enjoyed by the marines operates as an exception to the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Both Italy and India will reach an agreement on compensation through the tribunal.

The complaint against the marines was filed by the owner of the fishing boat, St Antony, in which the two fishermen from Kerala were killed when the marines opened fired at them.