Italian marines case | Supreme Court Of India

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Italian Marines Case

The Supreme Court on July 30 agreed to hear on August 2 a claim for compensation for “moral harm” made by the crew of fishing boat St. Antony, who survived the hail of bullets from two Italian marines detailed aboard Enrica Lexie off the coast of Kerala nine years ago.

They are the 10 members of the fishing boat crew who escaped death. Two of their friends on the boat

They said not a penny from the ₹10 crores in compensation paid by the Republic of Italy had reached them. Their case came up before a Bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and V. Ramasubramanian.

On June 15, the Supreme Court had agreed to close criminal proceedings against marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone after Italy paid ₹10 crores. The order came on the basis of a decision by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in May 2020 to have the duo stand trial in Italy. The tribunal had ordered Italy to recompense the loss of lives, physical harm, material damage, and moral harm caused by the shooting.

Marines Case

Of the ₹10 crores, ₹4 crores each was allotted to the families of the two dead fishermen. The remaining ₹2 crores were set aside for the fishing boat owner.

The 10 survivors argued that the bullets had damaged the outer body of the boat. They said the boat was worth only ₹10 lakh. The boat owner got ₹17 lakh as ex gratia payment, along with ₹1 crore paid to the families of their two dead colleagues, in 2012.The 10 of them were not paid anything. In fact, they said the Kerala government had already written to them on July 24, implying they would not be paid any compensation out of ₹10 crores.

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They said payment of ₹2 crore exclusively for the fishing boat owner was “not justified”. urged the court to permit them equal share from this ₹2 crore. They submitted that the international tribunal had acknowledged the fact that “moral harm” caused by the shooting incident should be duly compensated.

“The compensation for moral harm suffered by the Captain and the crew of St Antony has escaped the attention of the court. The crew was not represented in the court hearing on June 15… On account of the shock and grief, permanent moral harm has been caused to us. We are afraid to venture into the sea after the shooting incident,” their application said.

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