Charges against Italian Marines may become lighter

italy_marine_20130325The investigation into the killing of two Kerala fishermen by Italian marines may start from scratch again and the probe may be transferred from the NIA to some other agency like the CBI. The incident took place two years before. The possibility brightened after the Centre, giving a huge relief to marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, submitted before the Supreme Court on Monday that the duo won’t be prosecuted under the stringent antipiracy law that attracts death penalty as maximum punishment.
“The NIA has been probing the case but if SUA is dropped then some other agency may be required to take over. The NIA cannot probe cases in which charges are only under the IPC. If the case is transferred then the probe will begin afresh. There is no doubt that the government goofed up in the handling of the case,” said a home ministry official, wishing to remain anonymous.
Attorney General G. E. Vahanvati told the apex court that the contentious issue between India and Italy on slapping Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation And Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act against the marines has been resolved as it has decided to go by opinion of the law minister.
The moment the Centre said the SUA was being dropped, the Italian government seized on the opportunity to question the NIA’s power to investigate the case.
The Centre, however, opposed the plea and submitted that the agency can probe any case on the directions of the court.

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