The two-Italian marines are accussed of killing two-Indian fishermen in Kerala in 2012.
However, the centre told an apex court bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan that the probe would continue to be carried out by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was opposed by senior counsel who said that if the SUA is ruled out, so is the NIA from probing the case.
Italy had demanded a closure of the case and said that if there were no SUA charges, the NIA had no jurisdiction in probing the case.
The Marines, Massimilliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, have been held in India since February 2012 when they allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the coast of the south Indian state of Kerala, mistaking them for pirates.
With agency inputs