Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Home Ministry has revised sanction given to prosecute the two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast.
The two marines will now escape death penalty with the Home Ministry agreeing to drop the death penalty clause against them.
The development came a day after the Supreme Court asked the government to resolve within a week all disputes arising over the issue of invoking anti-piracy law against the marines.
A PTI report said that, the Ministry is of the opinion that the duo should be tried under anti-terrorism Suppression of Unlawful Acts against safety of Maritime Navigation And Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act but the provision for death penalty should not be invoked.
The MHA view is in consonance with the commitment given by India to Italy that provisions for death penalty will not be invoked against the two in the case related to 2012.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought sanction to prosecute the two marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- under SUA, which states that if a person causes death to any person, he shall be punished with death.
Italy`s special envoy Staffan de Mistura today that his country would "forcefully oppose" any move by Indian authorities to press charges against the two marines under an anti-terror law that carries the death penalty or to postpone a court decision, IANS reported.
Latorre and Girone -- are facing trial in India for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen after allegedly mistaking them for pirates and opening fire on their trawler.
Latorre and Girone were guarding the privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off the coast of Kerala Feb 15, 2012.
With PTI/IANS inputs