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Respond to Italian Marine’s plea, SC to government

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New Delhi, Sep 8:

The Supreme Court Monday asked the central government to respond to Italian Marine Massimilano Latorre’s plea seeking to go back to his country for two months following a brain stroke he suffered recently.

Supreme CourtAsking the central government to respond, the bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman set Sep 12 as the next date of hearing.

The court also relaxed its order asking the Italian Marines – Latorre and Salvatore Girone – to report to the Chanakyapuri police station once a week.

It said Lattore was exempted from reporting to the police station for two weeks. The exemption came into force retrospectively from Aug 31.

Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha said he would like to take instructions from the government as the court asked him if he had anything to say on Lattore’s plea.

Counsel K.T.S. Tulsi, appearing for Lattore, told the court that he (Lattore) was in depression and was admitted to the Ganga Ram Hospital in August-end and was discharged only Sunday.

He said Lattore wanted to go home to be with his family and children.

The court was told that the Italian ambassador was willing to give any guarantee for Lattore’s return upon the expiry of two months.

Senior counsel Soli Sorabjee also appeared in the matter.

The two Marines have been held in India since February 2012 when they allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off Kerala, mistaking them for pirates.

The Marines were serving as security personnel on Italian oil tanker MT Enrica Lexie that was crossing the Indian Ocean.

India claims jurisdiction in the case while Italy alleges that the incident took place in international waters and that the Marines should be tried in their home country.

(IANS)