India v. Italy Part Five: The Saga Continues

The Enrica Lexie incident has been widely discussed on this blog and in the international media. So far the case has been heard by courts in the Indian state of Kerala and has been argued before the Supreme Court of India. This last court has had the matter under consdieration since September of this year after a full court argument and briefing. On 21 November 2012 the Supreme Court issued a Suo Motu Petition requesting additional briefing regarding a “Recent Firing Incident, Widely Reported in the Press, Resulting in the Death of Two Persons, Allegedly on Account of Use of Firearms by Some Private Security Personnel”. Nothing in the petition and order issued by the court directly identifies it with the Enria Lexie incident, and in fact, the order was issued in relation to another shooting incident in downtown new Delhi, but its content and reference could address issues raised by the Enrica Lexie case.

The Justices requested additional briefing from Ministry of Home Affairs for the Union of India on four issues: (1) what legal rules exist to govern the use of private security agencies; (2) what rules exist for the issuance of firearms to such companies’ personnel; (3) what rules govern the use of such firearms by said personnel and; (4) “what are the rights and duties of private security agencies under the law, particularly, vis-a-vis the criminal law of the land”.

From the point of view of International Law, the Enrica Lexie incident raised two major questions the jurisdiction of India over the events and the immunity of the Italian soldiers from said jurisdiction. If the responses to this order can be applied to the Lexie case, it would appear that the Court has found a basis to affirm India’s jurisdiction and is in a possition to look and see which national laws would govern the substantive case.

I will report more on the case as it develops.



Filed under News and Events, Public International Law

3 responses to “India v. Italy Part Five: The Saga Continues

  1. Arty

    Dear friend,
    You got it wrong. Kindly review your assertion that this is the Enrica Lexie case. Becasue, this SC action is another shooting that happened in new Delhi just recently where a gun-fight confrontation between 2 property tycoons (their personal body-guards) left both tycoons dead.
    Kindly read more here :
    “Taking suo motu cognisance of the killing of Ponty Chadha in a gunfight, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought explanation from the Centre about the norms for issuing gun licences to private security persons.”
    SOURCE(S) :

    • Thank you very much. I stand corrected on the object of the suo motu request.

      • Arty

        Dear friend,
        Allow me to laud the good work that you are doing with your blog.
        My personal opinion is that the Indian Home Ministry’s reply MIGHT indirectly also apply to the Enrica Lexie case IF the given reply also addresses issues pertaining to armed soldiers of defense forces who are assigned by their respective countries to guard privately-owned commercial ships.
        Can I make a suggestion : Would you mind correcting your original article please to take into account the info which I brought to your notice ?
        Because, if a reader does not scroll down to the comments section or read the comments section, he will not understand that the Indian SC suo motu request is not for the Enrica Lexie & St-Anthony shooting incident but for the Ponty Chada gun-fight incident.
        Maybe you can delete the phrase : “Nothing in the petition and order issued by the court directly identifies it with the Enria Lexie incident, but its content and reference address the issues raised in that case.” or atleast reformulate it.

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