Both the Kerala government and Union of Ministry of Shipping have supported the state governments jurisdiction to act against the Italian marines involved in the killing of two fishermen.
In a strongly-worded affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Friday,the Kerala government said it was well within the rights of the state to investigate and try the offence as it involved the killing of two Indian citizens on a vessel registered in India.
Since the offence of murder of two Indian citizens was committed on-board a vessel registered in India as per the laws of the land,the State of Kerala has the jurisdiction to investigate,inquire and try the offence, the affidavit said.
This statement comes almost a week after Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval,representing the Centre,expressed doubt in SC over whether the government had jurisdiction to act against the two marines. The ASGs submission was then described as very unfortunate by Bench of Justices RM Lodha and HL Gokhale. The court is in fact hearing a petition to release Italian ship Enrica Lexie,which had been detained.
Both the Centre and Kerala CM Oomen Chandy had reacted against the statement. Justice Gokhale had remarked to the law officer that two Indian citizens have died. Let us not forget it.
A separate affidavit by the Union Ministry of Shipping on Friday contradicted Raval and supported the state governments authority to file an FIR and legally act against the Italians. The FIR lodged against the accused persons is being investigated by the competent authorities of Kerala because law and order is a State subject, the affidavit said.