Supreme Court directs payment of Rs 5 lakh each to 9 fishermen
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed that a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each be paid to seven fishermen and the legal heirs of two others, who were affected in an incident of firing by two Italian marines on a boat off the Kerala coast in February 2012.
A bench headed by Justice MR Shah modified its June 15, 2021 order and directed to pay Rs five lakh each to the fishermen.
It directed that the captain-cum-boat owner, Freddy, will be given a compensation of Rs 1.55 crore out of the Rs 2 crore paid by the Italian government.
Republic of Italy had paid Rs 10 crore as compensation to the families
The Republic of Italy had paid Rs 10 crore as compensation to the families of the fishermen who were shot dead in 2012 by two Italian Marines aboard the Enrica Lexie ship, in lieu of closure of criminal cases against the two navy personnel in India.
In 2021, the apex court closed all the criminal proceedings initiated in India against the two Italian marines, who were accused of killing two fishermen in the incident, after an amount of Rs 10 crore was paid in compensation by the Italian government to the heirs of the deceased and the boat owner.
The apex court had directed that the amount of Rs 10 crore, which was deposited in the top court’s registry, be transferred to the Kerala High Court and of the total amount, Rs 4 crore each be paid to the heirs of the two deceased and Rs 2 crore to the owner of the fishing boat “St Antony”.
Twelve fishermen, including the boat owner and a minor, were on board “St Antony” on a fateful day. Two of them were killed in the firing incident.
The bench was informed that the minor had committed suicide while another fisherman, Johnson, died during the pendency of the proceedings.
The top court was hearing an application filed by the seven affected fishermen seeking compensation for the suffering faced by them due to the trauma following the incident.
They said no compensation has been directed to be paid to them and seeking a stay on the disbursement of Rs 2 crore earmarked for the boat owner.
In February 2012, India had accused the two marines on board MV Enrica Lexie — an Italian-flagged oil tanker — of killing two Indian fishermen who were on a fishing vessel in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).