The plea of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012 that they not be tried under anti-piracy laws which attract the death penalty will have to be sorted out by next Monday, the Supreme Court told the Centre on Monday.

A Bench, comprising Justices B.S. Chauhan and M.Y. Eqbal, granted a week’s time to Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati when he told the court: “I am trying to sort out the issue. I need a week’s time.”

“Will you be able to end the logjam by next Monday? Don’t expect us to grant adjournment on the next date,” Justice Chauhan said.

“The Centre has almost resolved the issue and will respond on the next date of hearing,” Mr. Vahavati replied.

Earlier, Mukul Rohtagi, senior counsel appearing for the marines, submitted that more than a year had passed since the court transferred the case to the Centre, holding that the Kerala government had no jurisdiction to try the marines. However, no charge sheet had been filed in view of the logjam between the Ministries of Home and Law on invoking anti-piracy laws.

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