Supreme Court defers ruling on Italian marines till Thursday

(From The Times of India)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will pronounce on Thursday its order on the Italian government's plea against the invoking ofSuppression of Unlawful Acts 2002 and investigation by the National Investigation Agency into the killing of two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast by its two marines on February 2012.

The apex court bench headed by Chief JusticeAltamas Kabir, which was to pronounce its order on Monday, said that it would do so on Thursday. 

The Italian government has contended that if convicted its two marines would face death sentence, a mandatory punishment if a person is convicted under the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, (SUA) 2002. 

On March 22, after the return of the marines from Italy, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid told Parliament that India had offered Italy an assurance that its marines, Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, would not get the death penalty if they returned by the deadline set by the Supreme Court. 

Khurshid said that the case did not fall in the category of "rarest of rare cases" that attract the death penalty in India, so there was no fear of that.