Fishermen case: Out of court settlement an option?
Kochi: Kerala High Court today asked the
owner of Italian Merchant Vessel Enrica Lexie and the families
of the two fishermen allegedly killed by the marines whether
they were willing for an out of court settlement for
determining the compensation.
A division bench comprising justices Thothatil B
Radhakrishanan and C T Ravikumar posed the question on a
petition filed by the fishermen's families complaining of
inadequacy of the bank guarantee amount directed by a single
While Doramma wife of Valentine Jalastine had sought a
compensation of Rs 1 crore, the sisters of Ajeesh Binki,
another fishermen had approached the High Court for Rs 2 crore
The owner of the fishing boat, Freddy has also sought Rs 75
lakh compensation for the damage caused to his boat.
The single Judge had ordered the ship owner to submit a
bank guarantee of Rs 25 lakhs each for the families of the two
killed and Rs 10 lakh for the damage caused to the boat.
The Court also wanted to know who had ordered the firing
and who was incharge of the marines who were providing
security to the vessel.
The bench also directed that the ship, now berthed in
Kochi, shall not leave till a decision is taken on the issue
The marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi have
been arrested and charged with murder for allegedly shooting
the two fishermen dead on February 15 off Kollam coast, an
incident that has led to a diplomatic row between India and
Italy, which is making hectic efforts for their release.
The accused have contended before the court that Kerala
police has no authority to conduct an investigation in the
case and courts in India have no jurisdiction as the incident
had occurred beyond the Indian territorial waters.