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9 fishermen to be paid 5 lakhs each in Italian Marines case: Supreme Court

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In 2012, 2 marines aboard an Italian-flagged tanker killed 2 Indian fishermen

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court amended its June 15, 2021 order on Friday and ordered that compensation of Rs 5 lakh be paid to seven fishermen and the legal heirs of two others, who were affected by an incident of firing by two Italian marines on a boat off the coast of Kerala in February 2012.

The court ordered that the captain-owner of the boat, Freddy, be awarded compensation of Rs 1.55 crore out of the Rs 2 crore paid by the Italian government earlier for damage to the boat as well as those on board.

Last year, the High Court terminated criminal proceedings in India against the two Italian marines who were accused of killing two fishermen in the incident, after a sum of Rs 10 crore was paid in compensation by the Italian government to the heirs of the deceased and the owner of the boat.

He had ordered that the amount of Rs 10 crore, which was filed in the Registry of the Supreme Court, be transferred to the High Court of Kerala and of the total amount, Rs 4 crore each be paid to the heirs of the two deceased and Rs 2 crore to the owner of the fishing boat “St Antony”.

Twelve fishermen, including the owner of the boat and a minor, were on board the “St Antony” on the fateful day. Two of them were killed in the shootout.

The miner later took his own life while another fisherman, Johnson, died while awaiting proceedings.

A bench of judges MR Shah and MM Sundresh heard a claim from the seven fishermen concerned seeking compensation for the suffering suffered by them as a result of the trauma resulting from the incident.

The tribunal took note that the arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) rendered its award on May 21, 2020, under which the Italian Republic accepted to pay an indemnity of Rs 10 crore in addition to the ex gratia amount already paid to the deceased fishermen.

The fishermen’s lawyer said the arbitral tribunal decided that India was entitled to payment of compensation for loss of life, personal injury, material damage to property and moral damage suffered by the master and the other crew members of the boat.

“This court ordered on June 15, 2021 that Rs 2 crore be paid to the owner of the boat. We did not receive the compensation despite the arbitral tribunal finding that they were entitled to compensation. This issue arose. product because previously we were not part of the proceedings in court and now the order of this court stands in the way,” the lawyer said.

The bench said the dispute was now limited to the division of Rs 2 crore between the captain-owner of the boat and the other fishermen.

“We order Rs 2 crore to be paid to the captain and owner of the boat, Rs 5 lakh each to be paid to the seven fishermen concerned, the widow of one of the fishermen, Johnson, who died while awaiting proceedings, and the legal heirs of the deceased minor after proper verification through account checks,” the bench said and amended court order dated June 15, 2021.

Initially, Freddy’s lawyer said his consent to quash the criminal case against the Italian marines – Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone – was obtained by the government on the promise that he would receive Rs 2 crore in compensation for damages . to the fishing boat and loss of business.

The bench said that according to the arbitration award dated May 21, 2020, compensation should be paid to the captain and other crew members of the boat and therefore Freddy cannot receive the full amount of Rs 2 crore.

The bench then told the fishermen’s lawyer that it would order each to pay them an amount of Rs 5 lakh. The court’s suggestion was accepted by Freddy’s lawyer.

The bench then passed the order and ruled on the fishermen’s claim, while ordering the Kerala High Court to disburse its due amount as it ordered between the fishermen and the boat owner.

On June 15, 2021, the highest court had declared that, in accordance with the international arbitration award accepted by India, Italy would resume further investigation in the case against the two navies.

He had canceled FIR registered at Neendakara Coastal Police Station in Kollam district of Kerala and re-registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2013 and all proceedings emanating from the case.

In February 2012, India accused the two marines aboard the MV Enrica Lexie – an Italian-flagged tanker – of killing two Indian fishermen who were on a fishing boat in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). ‘India.

Latorre, who suffered a stroke on August 31, 2014, was first released on bail and cleared by the Supreme Court on September 12, 2014 to travel to Italy for four months and after that he was granted extensions .

Latorre underwent heart surgery in Italy, after which the high court granted him an extension of his stay in his native country.

The complaint against the marines was filed with the police by Freddy, claiming that two fishermen were killed when the marines opened fire on them, allegedly under the mistaken idea that they were pirates.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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