India has jurisdiction over Italian marine case : Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, May 3: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said India has jurisdiction over the Italian marine case and will pursue it ‘rigorously.’

Speaking in the Lok Sabha on the controversy kicked up by Italy over the trial of two Italian marines, who were arrested for killing Indian fishermen, Jaitley said even if the detained Italian Italian marine returns home as per the UN tribunal’s orders, he will remain under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.

” The Italian court has confirmed that the marine will submit his passport to the Italian government and the court will keep our Supreme Court apprised of the progress they have made every three months.”

“The government’s position is clear: India has jurisdiction in this case and will pursue the case on behalf of the victims rigorously,” Jaitley said.

The Indian government has disagreed with the Italian foreign ministry’s claim that the UN Arbitration court has ordered for the release of the marine held in the country on murder charges.

Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre – both Italian marines – were arrested in 2012 after they had shot and killed two Indian fishermen in southern India, suspecting that they were pirates.

While both the marines were granted bail, Girone has been detained at the Italian embassy in New Delhi since the past four years and Latorre was sent to Italy on bail after he suffered a stroke in 2014.

Italy has been arguing that the case should not be heard in India as the incident happened in international waters. However, India has remained confident that the issue of jurisdiction will be determined in their favour.

The Centre on Tuesday said that the Supreme Court must approve the return of an Italian marine to his country while international arbitration plays out in the case accusing him and another marine of fatally shooting two Indian fishermen in 2012.

The External Affairs Ministry said in a statement that an order expected Tuesday from the international tribunal in The Hague does not allow Salvatore Girone to return to Italy on bail, as the Italian foreign ministry has suggested.

Instead, it says the tribunal’s decision affirms the Indian court’s authority in the case and asks both countries to approach the court about Girone’s bail terms.