The Italian Marines Applied To Supreme Court for Reduction of Bail Conditions

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The two Italian marines have approached the Supreme Court for relaxation of the conditions of bail. Three years back, the Italian marines were accused for shooting and killing two fishermen near the coast of Kerala in India. On May 2002, the High Court of Kerala had granted bail to the marines. But the hon’ble Apex Court ordered the Italians to stay back in India. Last September one of the marines was permitted to go to Italy as he had to undergo treatment as a result of brain stroke. His term of bail will end in the month of January. Hence, he filed an application to make longer his stay for an additional four months for heart surgery. He also contended that his application should be allowed on humanitarian grounds as he needs rehabilitation after surgery, further treatment and therapy in Italy. As the Supreme Court had stayed trial proceedings for short time, he is not presently necessary for trial in the Court.

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The other accused had applied to the Court for bail on the ground of psychological problems resulting in his children due to his absence and had asked for reduction of bail standards and allow him to travel to his home country. The Supreme Court has posted the application for hearing on December 16, 2014. Both the Italian marines were working under the military security team in a cargo ship of private ownership. According to their version, on February 2012, they mistakenly felt that the fishermen were pirates and fired warning shots to the water in the Kerala coast. The Government of India transferred the power of investigation to the National Investigating Agency.

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The Agency filed FIR on the ground of murder by firing punishable under Section 302 (murder), Section 307 (attempt to murder) along with Section 427 (mischief) as provided under Indian Penal Code. They were also held accused under Section 3 of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts and also Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002 (SUA). The Central Government had informed the Supreme Court that the Italians will not be tried as per the provisions of anti piracy laws which would direct towards death sentence. In the mean time, the Apex Court had stayed the proceedings before the special court.