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Italian marines case: Mother of fisherman moves Kerala HC for compensation

The woman, in her plea, has contended that the boat owner did not forward her son's name as one of the persons who was also onboard the vessel and therefore, he neither received any counselling for the trauma suffered nor was considered for compensation.

By: PTI | Kochi |
September 14, 2021 2:51:51 pm
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone had been charged in India for killing two fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012. (File Photo)

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday sought the Centre’s response on a plea for compensation by the mother of a fisherman, who was aboard the St Antony fishing vessel, which was fired upon by two Italian marines in 2012 killing two persons, and later died by suicide allegedly due to the trauma of the incident.

The high court directed the central government counsel to file a statement in response to the plea and listed the matter for hearing after two weeks.

The woman, in her plea, has contended that the boat owner did not forward her son’s name as one of the persons who was also onboard the vessel and therefore, he neither received any counselling for the trauma suffered nor was considered for compensation.

Subsequently, as a result of the trauma suffered during the incident, the petitioner’s son committed suicide, her lawyer told the court.

The lawyer said that the petitioner’s son’s name ought to have been sent to the Italian authorities for consideration of appropriate compensation.

Last month around 10 fishermen, who were also onboard the fishing vessel and had survived the firing incident, had moved the Supreme Court seeking compensation.

The apex court had, thereafter, directed the Kerala High Court not to disburse any amount from the Rs 2 crore earmarked for the owner of the fishing vessel.

On June 15, the top court had brought the curtains down on the 9-year old pending criminal proceedings in India against two Italian marines, Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were accused of killing the two fishermen, after Rs 10 crore in compensation was paid by Italy to the heirs of the deceased and the boat owner.

It had directed Rs 4 crore each be given to the dependents of the two deceased fishermen and the rest Rs 2 crore would be given to the vessel owner.

The top court had referred the matter to the Kerala High Court to oversee the disbursement.

In the fresh plea, the 10 fishermen had said they were also injured in the incident and hence, entitled for the compensation. They had sought a stay on the disbursement till their claims were determined.

The top court had also said earlier that as per the international arbitral award accepted by India, Italy shall resume further investigation in the case against the two marines and quashed the FIR, registered at Coastal Police Station of Neendakara, Kollam in Kerala and re-registered by NIA in 2013, and all the proceedings in the case.

It had closed the case after the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII of UNCLOS delivered its award on May 21, 2020 under which Italy agreed to pay Rs 10 crore compensation, over the ex-gratia amount already paid.

In February 2012, India had accused the two marines on board the MV Enrica Lexie — an Italian flagged oil tanker — of killing two Indian fishermen who were on a fishing vessel in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Latorre, who had suffered a brain stroke on August 31, 2014, was first granted bail and allowed by the apex court on September 12, 2014 to go to Italy for four months and after that, extensions have been granted to him.

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

The complaint against the marines was lodged by Freddy on whose vessel two Kerala fishermen were killed when marines opened fire on them under the misconception that they were pirates.

 

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