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Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal will hear the case in observance to the Delhi High Court’s decision. The court of the CMM is also expected to adjudicate the contentious issue of jurisdiction
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) of the Patiala House Court in New Delhi has been designated to conduct proceedings against the Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast last year. It is one of the six district courts in the national capital.
CMM Amit Bansal will hear the case in observance to the Delhi High Court’s decision, sources said. The court of the CMM is also expected to adjudicate the contentious issue of jurisdiction.
Since the Supreme Court, in its verdict on 18th January, held that Kerala had no jurisdiction in the matter, it would be interesting to note whether the CBI or any other agency is asked to investigate and file a report.
This scenario will arise only if the marines are eventually tried in India, since the apex court had said the matter of jurisdiction would be decided by the special court after perusing the evidence.
“At this stage, it is a tricky situation. Let’s watch and see,” said former Delhi High Court judge justice RS Sodhi. “There are many issues which require to be settled.”
Since it was apparently a case of murder, filing of the charge-sheet, taking cognisance and committal of the case to the sessions court have to be conducted by a magisterial court only, in accordance with provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, advocate Amit Kumar said.
Until proceedings start at the CMM’s court, the marines—Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone —would remain under the control of the Italian embassy, according to the Supreme Court’s direction.
The court had directed the Centre to set up a special court in consultation with the Chief Justice of India to try the case in accordance with provisions of the Maritime Zones Act, 1976, the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and UNCLOS, 1982. It had also pulled up the Union government for “dragging its feet” over setting up the court.
In its verdict, the court had said: “India is entitled both under its domestic law and the public international law to exercise rights of sovereignty up to 24 nautical miles from the baseline on the basis of which the width of territorial waters is measured, it can exercise only sovereign rights within the exclusive economic zone for certain purposes. The incident of firing from the Italian vessel on the Indian shipping vessel having occurred within the contiguous zone, the Union of India is entitled to prosecute the two Italian marines under the criminal justice system prevalent in the country.”
The apex court had dismissed the Italian ambassador’s plea that the accused enjoyed sovereign immunity.
The measures proposed to be taken include enhanced surveillance of derivatives market, first-stage monitoring by brokers, stronger audit mechanism for market entities and review of anti-money laundering and terror combating funding norms
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is working on plans to bring in a stronger and more effective surveillance system in fiscal 2013-14, by way of greater checks against money laundering and an overhaul of its regulations for various market entities and trade activities.
The measures proposed to be taken in the fiscal beginning next month include enhanced surveillance of derivatives market, first-stage monitoring by brokers, stronger audit mechanism for market entities and review of anti-money laundering and terror combating funding norms.
Besides, SEBI also plans to usher in guidelines to address conflict of interest for credit rating agencies, introduce regulatory framework for foreign intermediaries soliciting business from investors in India and put in place a centralised KYC framework for the entire financial sector.
The proposed steps are part of SEBI’s budget proposals for fiscal 2013-14, which have been approved by its board and would be implemented during the course of the year.
One of the top priorities identified by SEBI would be “protecting the integrity and safety of the market through a stronger and more effective surveillance mechanism and by strengthening the inspection process of intermediaries”, a senior executive said.
SEBI is also planning to strengthen its manpower in the next fiscal, besides greater efforts towards training and skill building of existing staff members.
The regulator would also strengthen its Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence System (DWBIS), the project which has been initiated in phases to generate reports to identify, detect and investigate aberrations and market abuses that undermine market integrity.
SEBI also said that it is necessary for the intermediaries to maintain high levels of compliance with the stipulated norms.
In order to provide services to the investors at their doorstep and to promote a balanced securities market, SEBI is also working on enhancing the physical proximity of SEBI offices to investors and intermediaries.
While ten new local offices are expected to be functional by the end of this month, six more local offices are proposed to be opened during the year 2013-14.
Enthused by a significant increase in receipt of grievances due to its mass media campaign in 2012-13, SEBI plans to further strengthen the campaign in next fiscal.