Appearing before a bench headed by Justice BS Chauhan, Attorney General GE Vahanvati submitted that there has been delay in initiating trial against the marines as the witnesses who were accompanying the accused on the ship are not coming to India to depose despite giving undertaking.

The AG sought time to reply to the contentions raised by the Italian government which submitted that invocation of anti-terrorism law against the marines ‘would tantamount to the republic of Italy being termed a terrorist state’.

The bench, after hearing his contention, adjourned the case for February 3 and observed that the Centre would make bona fide efforts to resolve the issue.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Italy government challenging invoking of anti-terrorism law SUA (Suppression of Unlawful Acts against safety of Maritime Navigation And Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf) Act, saying it is against the order of the Apex Court which allowed proceedings only under the Maritime Zone Act, IPC, CrPC and UNCLOS.

The joint petition, filed by Ambassador of Italy Daniele Mancini along with Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, also sought direction to the Centre and NIA to expedite the proceedings in the case or discharge the marines.

"Invoking the anti-terrorism SUA Act would tantamount to the Republic of Italy being termed a terrorist state and acts of its organs, which were in repression of piracy, as being deemed as acts of terrorism, which is wholly untenable and unacceptable in the facts and circumstances of this case and in keeping with the comity of nations and international cooperation," the petition said.


Latest News from India News Desk