The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the National Investigation Agency to probe the case against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen and asked the special court to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis after the charge sheet is filed.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir clarified that the special court, set up by the Centre for this case, will not take up any other matter and complete the trial as soon as possible.
The bench also comprising Justices A R Dave and Vikramajit Sen said that the two marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone will remain in the custody of the apex court till the completion of the trial.
The Italian government had raised objection over the case being handed by the NIA, saying that the agency has no jurisdiction and pleaded that the case be probed by CBI.
The Italian government had approached the apex court, saying that the charges which have been slapped on the marines are not covered by the NIA Act.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Italian government, had submitted that NIA can probe the case only if charges under Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002, are also slapped against the marines and the same cannot be done in view of apex court verdict to prosecute them only under IPC, CrPC, Maritime Zones Act and United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The two marines were on board Italian vessel Enrica Lexie when they had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, last year.