The Delhi high court has designated the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Patiala house court in New Delhi for holding the trial of the two Italian marines, accused of killing two Indian fishermen. According to official sources in the high court, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal would be hearing the case.
Pursuant to the Supreme Court's direction of January 18, the Centre had on March 23 asked the high court to set up a special court to try the two Italian marines Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone. The marines, who were allowed by the apex court on February 22 to go to Italy for four weeks to cast their vote in the general elections there, returned on March 22.
The apex court while rejecting the pleas of the Italian government and the two marines that Indian courts have no jurisdiction in the case, had directed that the accused be shifted to Delhi and be under its 'custody' till the Centre constitutes a special court.
On February 22, the apex court had questioned the government as to why it was "dragging its feet" on the issue of setting up a special court for trying the two marines. It had also taken exception to the Centre not following the apex court's January 18 direction to consult the chief justice of India for setting up a special court. The two marines were on board an Italian vessel 'Enrica Lexie' when they allegedly shot dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, last year.