New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is waiting for a fresh notification from the Union Home Ministry about withdrawal of sanction to prosecute two Italian Marines under the contentious Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA).
NIA sources said while the agency would be abiding by the government’s decision, it was wrong on the part of the Italian counsel to claim the crime did not fall under the purview of the NIA act.
The sources said while the agency was entitled to investigate and prosecute people for scheduled offences like that of terrorism and related crimes, there was no bar on it to prosecute anyone under Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The sources said the probe in the Italian marines case had ended after which a charge sheet was readied against the two Italian marines under SUA and other IPC Acts.
The sources said it had received sanction under SUA and there was no fresh notification from the Centre to withdraw the same so far.
After today’s development in the Supreme Court where the Centre said it would not prosecute the two Italian marines under SUA, the Home Ministry may issue a fresh notification withdrawing the earlier sanction.
There was a talk in the ministry that the case may be handed over to CBI but there was no confirmation of this so far.
Accused marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who were on board Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’ and now lodged in Italian Embassy premises in New Delhi, allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012.
NIA completed its probe after questioning four Italian marines, who were witness to the incident, through video conferencing after their refusal to come to India.