Thiruvananthapuram: The families of two fishermen who were shot dead by Italian marines at sea have agreed to withdraw their cases after an Italian compensation offer of Rs 1 crore.
But there was twist in New Delhi as well when the centre's lawyer in the Supreme Court said the Kerala police were wrong in detaining the Italian ship.
Additional Solicitor General Haren Rawal is now under pressure after he, in a surprising u-turn on the Kerala ship firing incident, told the Supreme Court that the Kerala police had no jurisdiction to probe the incident as the incident took on high seas.
More interestingly what has really happened is that not just the central government but even the Italian government on Friday filed a petition here in the Supreme Court and they have raised similar grounds.
The Solicitor General's stand raised questions over the future of the criminal cases against the marines. With the issue threatening to pit Centre versus the state, the Ministry of External Affairs clarified that India retains jurisdiction over the ship involved. Therefore, the stand taken by counsel in Supreme Court is a personal opinion and wholly inconsistent with India's stand.
The Congress sought to downplay the faux pas.
On record the state government is maintaining that they are in consultation with legal experts to decide the further course of action. The Kerala politicians have already lashed out at the Centre.
Kerala Chief Minster Oommen Chandy said, "We took a position that these Italian navy people committed crime under Indian law. We took action against them and we will continue that action."
The question now is, how will the drama play out further?