New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Italian marine Salvatore Girone to return home while international arbitration into 2012 deaths of Indian fishermen is ongoing.
Chief Master Sergeant Massimiliano Latorre and Sergeant Major Girone, accused of killing in 2012 two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast, were then serving as security personnel on an Italian oil tanker MT Enrica Lexie crossing the Indian Ocean.
Girone has been living in the Italian embassy in New Delhi while Latorre is already in Italy on health grounds and his stay there was recently extended by the apex court till September 30 this year.
An apex court vacation bench of Justice Prafulla C Pant and Justice DY Chandrachud modified the bail condition paving the way for Girone`s return to Italy on an application by the Italian government backed by India.
The bench recorded the Indian government`s "no objection" to the move.
The apex court imposed four conditions on the marine which include that he has to report to police station in Italy on first Wednesday of every month and the Italian Embassy has to inform the Indian Embassy in Rome about the same.
It also said the marine will not tamper with any evidence nor influence any witness in the case.
The third condition imposed was that Girone will give an undertaking that he will remain under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court.
Lastly, if found violating any of the conditions imposed, his bail will be cancelled, the apex court said.
Besides this, the court said that the Italian ambassador in New Delhi will give a fresh undertaking stating that Girone shall be made to return to India in one month after the decision of the International Arbitral Tribunal and if required by it.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P S Narasimha said that Centre has no objection to the application moved by Girone if he complies with the conditions imposed by the apex court.
"We support the application on humanitarian grounds subject to his compliance with the conditions imposed by the court," the ASG said.
Girone had filed the application through lawyer Jagjit Singh Chhabra, also seeking a direction that Ministry of Home Affairs and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office be asked to provide him with the "necessary residential permit and exit visa".
Italy`s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said it was "satisfied" with the court`s decision.
"Salvatore Girone will be able to return home in just a few days` time," the ministry said.
The court order came in the wake of April 29 order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) asking both India and Italy to cooperate for Girone`s return till arbitration proceedings before it are going.
Italy has invoked international arbitration on the issue of jurisdiction to try the two Italian marines for killing the fishermen mistaking them as sea pirates.