India's Supreme Court has ordered the government to decide within a week whether it will invoke a severe anti-piracy law against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen two years ago.

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

India's Home Ministry has entrusted the probe to an anti-terror agency. Italy has said the case should be investigated by police. Rome has raised objections to the agency's plan to invoke maritime laws, which carry a maximum penalty of death.

Italian officials deplored the delay Monday and said no charges have been filed against the marines although two years have passed. The two are currently on bail in Delhi pending trial.