NIA will file a charge sheet against two Italian marines, accused of killing two Kerala fishermen, after getting sanction to prosecute them under a law which provides only death penalty.
However, the charge sheet is unlikely before February 3 by when the Centre has told the Supreme Court that it will resolve all disputes with the Italian government arising out of invoking the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act (SUA) against the two marines, official sources said.
The Home Ministry had given sanction to NIA to prosecute the marines under SUA last week.
Accused Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were on board Italian vessel 'Enrica Lexie' and now lodged in Italian Embassy premises here, allegedly shot dead the two fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.
NIA completed its probe after questioning four Italian marines, who were witness to the incident, through video conferencing after their refusal to come to India.
The Supreme Court had shifted the case to Delhi, saying the Kerala Police had no jurisdiction over it and backed the government's decision to hand over the case to NIA.
The Italian government has already challenging before the Supreme Court invoking of anti-terrorism law SUA, saying it is against the order of the apex court which allowed proceedings only under the Maritime Zone Act, IPC, CrPC and UNCLOS.
Since when is a charge sheet or sanction for prosecution filed after consultations with the accused?
The apprehensions of the Italian govt that a guilty verdict under SUA will result in a mandatory death sentence is misplaced. Section 3 (g) does prescribe the death penalty (with no option) for causing the death of a person. However, the SC in one of the infamous Justice Ganguly's last cases has ruled that a mandatory death sentence is unconstitutional. That was relating to an offence under the Arms Act, but the logic applies to all laws whether they are amended or not.