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Kerala fishermen's killing: Out-of-court settlement impermissible, India's Supreme Court says April 30,2012   |  Source: PTI

The Supreme Court of India on Monday sought the Italian government's stand on a plea for release of its vessel Enrica Lexie whose two guards allegedly had shot dead two Indian fishermen, Jalastine and Binki, in February.

A bench of justices RM Lodha and HL Gokhale reserved its order on vessel's owner Dolphin Tankers' plea for release of the ship for 10.30am tomorrow, by which time the Italian government too was asked to file its reply.

Earlier during the two-hour-long argument, the apex court questioned the Kerala government as to why it did not oppose the compromise reached between the families of the deceased fishermen and the Italian vessel's owners, who reportedly paid Rs one crore to each victim's family.

Referring to the compromise, the apex court bench said, "This is a challenge to the Indian judicial system, this is impermissible. It is most unfortunate."

The apex court also indicated that it was not in favour of detaining the vessel crew and the two naval guards unless their presence was required by the investigating authorities.

The bench made it clear that not only the citizens of this country but even foreign nationals, present in the country are entitled to the protection as per Article 21 which grants right to life and liberty to everyone in


© 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd

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