Italy yet to transfer 10 cr compensation; SC says it knows how ministries work


The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it is awaiting the receipt of Rs 10 crore compensation for the kin of two Indian fishermen killed by Italian Marines off the Kerala coast in February 2012.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, at the outset, asked Centre’s advocate Rajat Nair, whether the amount has been deposited? Nair responded, “We are awaiting the receipt of money.” The bench told Centre’s counsel “you were in a hurry last time, but we also know how ministries work.”

The Centre’ counsel submitted before the top court that as soon as the money is received, it will deposit the compensation with the apex court as per the April 9 direction.

The bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said it will hear the matter next week. Nair submitted before the bench that Italy has initiated the transfer of money.

The top court was hearing Centre’s application for closure of case against the two Italian marines — Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre. “We will keep it next week,” said the top court concluding the hearing.

On April 9, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to deposit Rs 10 crore compensation, with the court within a period of one week. The bench had noted the case against Italian Marines will be closed only after compensation is deposited.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the bench that after the Indian government receives money from the Italian government, it will be transferred in the top court account within three 3 days. Chief Justice Bobde had told Mehta: “We wish the government showed such prompt other in other cases listed before us.” Mehta replied, “it depends on which ministry is involved in a case.”

Italian Government has offered a compensation of Rs. 10 crore, out of which Kerala government proposed to disburse Rs. 4 crore, to the dependents of each deceased and Rs. 2 crore to the owner of the boat St. Antony. “We direct that after the amount is received by the Union of India, the same shall be deposited in this Court within a period of one week. List the matter on 19th April, 2021”, said the top court in its order on April 9.