[Italian Marines Case] Plea Seeking Stay Of Disbursement Of Compensation: Supreme Court Expected To Hear On Monday

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 04:28 PM, 30 Jul 2021

The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the plea seeking a stay of disbursement of compensation pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order dated June 15, 2021, for Monday.

The matter was listed before the bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice V Ramasubramanian.

On June 15, 2021, Supreme Court while closing all the criminal proceedings against Italian Marines in India had directed Rs 10 Crore, received as compensation in Italian Marines Case, to be transferred to the Kerala High Court Registry; Rs 4 Crore to be directed to the victim's family and Rs 2 Crore to the boat owner.

While disposing of the matter, a vacation bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah, said,

“We are satisfied with the compensation and the ex-gratia amount paid earlier and find it a fit case to close all proceedings under Article 142 of the Constitution. The Republic of Italy shall resume the criminal proceedings. The amount of Rs 10 crore lying with the Supreme Court registry to be transferred to the Kerala High Court; 4 crores to be given to the deceased victims and 2 crores to the boat owner. A Judge be appointed by the Kerala High Court to ensure that compensation paid to the victims are made available to their legal heirs. The Republic of Italy will continue the proceedings and the State of Kerala will cooperate with the criminal proceedings.”

On June 11, 2021, the bench had expressed concerns in the utilization of the compensation amount; 

4 crore is a very big amount. We need to protect the interest of the victims. There may be inter-family disputes too. We may close these proceedings & transfer the amount to HC & the HC would pass appropriate orders”, Court had previously observed.

Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta while apprising the Court about the agreement entered between the Government of India, Republic of Italy, and State of Kerala, of distribution of the compensation amount, had submitted that the same was yet to be apportioned. 

On April 9, 2021, Supreme Court Bench of the then Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian directed the Republic of Italy to pay compensation due as per the order dated May 21, 2020, to the Ministry of External Affairs, and the same amount to be deposited within one week to the Supreme Court.

On February 15, 2012, that a fishing boat ‘St. Antony’ was mistaken for a pirate boat by the Italian mariners. Consequently, two Indian fishermen, Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki were shot dead.

In its judgment dated July 2, 2020, the Permanent Court of Arbitration had allowed India to seek compensation from Italian Mariners. It was, inter-alia, observed, “that as a result of the breach by Italy of Article 87, paragraph 1, subparagraph (a), and Article 90 of the Convention, India is entitled to payment of compensation in connection with loss of life, physical harm, material damage to property (including to the “St. Antony”) and moral harm suffered by the captain and other crew members of the “St. Antony”, which by its nature cannot be made good through restitution”

Case Title: Massimilano Latorre & Ors.Versus Union Of India & Ors.