Rs 3 Crore Compensation 'Petty' for Ship Owners: HC
The Kerala High Court today observed that the compensation of Rs 3 crore sought by the families of the two fishermen killed by marines of Italian tanker Enrica Lexie was a 'petty' amount for the ship owners even as the detention of the vessel was extended till 5 pm tomorrow.

A division bench comprising justices Ram Kumar and K Harilal in their oral observations said the compensation claimed by the relatives of Jelestine and Ajesh Binki was a petty amount for the ship owners. The vessel was covered by valid insurance.

When the counsel representing the ship owners, attempted to say that the bank guarantee obtained by the court was sufficient, the bench asked how can it be a sufficient amount?

While Jelestine's widow Doramma had sought Rs one crore compensation, Binki's teenaged sisters had sought Rs 2 crore. The court had earlier directed the ship owners to remit a bank guarantee of Rs 25 lakh each.

Meanwhile, Freddy, owner of St Antony, the fishing boat on board which the fishermen were killed, today moved the court seeking Rs 75 lakh as compensation from the ship's owners, claiming his craft suffered extensive damage in the firing by the marines on February 15 off Kollam coast.

The court directed the ship owners to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 10 lakh in the petition.

The bench extended the detention of the vessel till 5 pm tomorrow. Earlier, the court had directed the vessel to be detained till 5 pm today. The vessel is presently berthed at outer sea of Cochin Port.

The judges extended the detention to facilitate a detailed hearing of the petition filed by Doramma.

The petition filed by Italian authorities and the two arrested marines -- Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone -- seeking to quash the FIR will come up before the court tomorrow.
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