SC refers Italian marine's plea for extension of stay in Italy to another bench

The Supreme Court on Monday referred the plea of Massimiliano Latorre, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012, seeking extension of his stay in Italy on grounds of having undergone a heart surgery on January 5, to another bench for hearing on Wednesday.

Updated: Jan 12, 2015, 13:44 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday referred the plea of Massimiliano Latorre, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012, seeking extension of his stay in Italy on grounds of having undergone a heart surgery on January 5, to another bench for hearing on Wednesday.

Latorre had filed the plea last Wednesday.

The bench comprising Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice A K Sikri said, "It is not proper for us to take up the application because we have earlier expressed some reservations and made certain observations."

The bench, while noting that later some other development had taken place, said, "Let it be placed before another bench."

The bench, which had earlier refused to grant the extension to Latorre, had last week agreed to hear his plea on Monday.

Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, appearing for Latorre, had mentioned the fresh plea and sought urgent hearing saying that the marine, whose surgery was scheduled on January 8 in Italy, had to get it advanced due to medical urgency.

The case against marines pertains to the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by Latorre and Salvatore Girone on board ship 'Enrica Lexie' off Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.

Earlier, the court had refused the plea of Latorre seeking extension of his stay in Italy on health grounds.

It had also rejected the plea of co-accused Marine Salvatore Girone who had sought the apex court's nod to go to Italy to celebrate Christmas saying they cannot get such "leeway".

Latorre was allowed by the apex court to go to Italy on September 12, last year for four months for medical treatment and recovery after he suffered a stroke here on August 31.

Later, Latorre had sought extension on the ground of scheduled heart surgery on January 8, which was denied.

"Please ask him (Latorre) to come back. He has to come back. We cannot say that he should undergo surgery here. By now he should have got the surgery done. One more medical certificate, one more heart surgery... Victim also has a right. You cannot get the leeway. It can't happen like that," the court had said.

Earlier on September 12, the apex court had allowed Lattore to travel to his country for his "more rapid and complete recovery" after he had suffered brain stroke on August 31.

The complaint was lodged by Freddy, the owner of the fishing boat 'St Antony', in which the two Indian fishermen were killed when the marines started firing on them allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates.

(With PTI inputs)