The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on May 26 the plea of Salvatore Girone, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off Kerala coast, seeking relaxation in bail terms to enable him to go to his country till an International Arbitral Tribunal decides the jurisdictional dispute between India and Italy.
A vacation bench comprising Justices P C Pant and D Y Chandrachud fixed the plea for hearing on Thursday when Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, said the government does not object if conditions are relaxed on the same lines as was done in the case of another marine Massimiliano Latorre.
Latorre is already in Italy on health grounds and his stay there has recently been extended by the apex court till September 30 this year.
The marine, who presently is in the custody of the apex court and residing in Italian embassy here, has said that he be allowed to go back to his native place till the arbitral panel decides the jurisdictional aspect in the matter.
Italy and India have been making contrary claims over the right to prosecute the two Italian marines in the case.
“Relax the bail conditions, in terms described ..., on Sergent Major Salvatore Girone, as contained in the Hon’ble Court’s consequential order dated January 18, 2013 modifying the Kerala High Court order of May 30, 2012 to enable him to return to Italy until a final decision by the Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal on the merits of the case that finds that India has jurisdiction over him in respect of the ‘Enrica Lexie’ incident,” Girone said in his fresh plea.
The plea, filed through lawyer Jagjit Singh Chhabra, has also sought a direction that Ministry of Home Affairs and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office be asked to provide him with the “necessary residential permit and exit visa”.
Girone has also said the authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport including the Bureau of Immigration and the concerned CISF and other security authorities be apprised of the court’s direction that he can leave India.