New Delhi: India will contest the Italian government's decision to the take the matter of two of its marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen three years ago, to an international tribunal which is going to hear it in the second week of August.
A legal team, headed by a law officer, would be leaving for Germany to represent India's case at International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
It is presumed that Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P L Narasimha, who is leading the case in the Supreme Court here, will represent the Indian team at the ITLOS.
When contacted, Narasimha said till now no decision has been taken as to who are going to be the members of the team.
The ITLOS is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.
The Tribunal is composed of 21 independent members, elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognised competence in the field of the law of the sea.
Earlier, during hearing in the Supreme Court on July 13, Italy had made a plea before the court saying it has invoked international arbitration challenging India's jurisdiction to try two of its marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen three years ago.
Narasimha had told the apex court bench, headed by Justice A R Dave, that India, being a signatory to the International Convention, would participate in these arbitration proceedings.
The ASG asserted that India had jurisdiction to try the Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, as the alleged offence had taken place in the Indian waters.
The marines, who were on board ship 'Enrica Lexie', are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012, under the misconception that they were pirates.