India says it won't invoke a severe anti-piracy law carrying a maximum penalty of death against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen.

A Home Ministry official said Friday the government had decided against invoking the law against the marines, who are awaiting trial. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to reporters.

The decision comes after India's top court on Monday ordered the government to decide within a week whether it would invoke the law.

The marines were part of a military security team on a cargo ship in 2012 when they fired at the fishermen, saying they mistook them for pirates.

Italy has raised objections to plans by India's anti-terror agency to invoke maritime laws that carry the death penalty.