Seven out of the twelve fishermen who were attacked and injured by Italian marines abode the Enrica Lexie vessel in 2012, have approached the Supreme Court requesting a stay on the disbursement of the compensation amount and seeking compensation out of the said amount of Rs. 2 Crores on the ground that they were also injured in the attack. The compensation amount was given by the Italian Republic in favour of the boat owner as per the terms of the award given by the Permanent Court of Arbitration under UNCLOS. The applicants contend that they were also injured in the fateful incident, hence they are entitled to fair compensation.
The said application was filed on July 7th after the Supreme Court quashed criminal proceedings pending domestically against the Italian Marines in relation to the Enrica Lexie incident. The Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, representing the Central Government had told the Supreme Court that as per the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the United Nations Convention on Law of Seas, “India had no jurisdiction to launch criminal prosecution against the Italian Marines over the sea-firing incident”.
The Court accepted the compensation of Rs. 10 crores offered by the Italian Republic. This compensation amount was mutually agreed upon between India and Italy as per the terms of the award given by the Permanent Court of Arbitration under UNCLOS.
To this, the Court had directed that the entire compensation amount was to be transferred to Kerala High Court, and then an amount of Rs. 4 crores each would be paid to the legal heirs of the two fishermen who got killed in the incident and Rs 2 crores to the owner of the St. Antony boat.
The bench had directed that the order of disbursement or investment will be passed after hearing the legal heirs of each deceased and the best interests of the parties will be kept in mind while passing any orders.
The Court has adjourned the hearing of the matter to the 2nd of August.