Accusing Pakistan of misusing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for propaganda, India today said that Pakistan has no substantive defence and is indulging in malicious acts, during a hearing in the Kulbhushan
Jadhav case in ICJ.
“Pakistan has violated Vienna convention and Jadhav’s custody in Pakistan should be declared unlawful,” eminent lawyer Harish Salve argued during a four-day public hearing in the case of Kulbhushan
Jadhav death sentence by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage.
India, during the first day of the hearing, based its case on two broad issues — breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution.
Salve said life of an innocent Indian is at risk and Pakistan has ignored 13 Indian reminders to provide consular access to Jadhav. “There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool. Pakistan was bound to grant consular access without delay,” he said.
Jadhav‘s trial by a Pakistani military court “hopelessly failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process”, Salve said.
Salve pointed out to the court that not only Jadhav has been denied consular access but no credible evidence has been provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in any act of terrorism.
“Pakistan’s story is solely based on rhetoric and not facts,” he said.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested
Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that
Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
Jadhav‘s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.
India had moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the “farcical trial” by the military court of Pakistan against 48-year-old
Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
India first approached the ICJ on May 8, 2017 for the “egregious violation” of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 by Pakistan by repeatedly denying it consular access to
A 10-member bench of the ICJ, which was set up after World War II to resolve international disputes, on May 18, 2017 had restrained Pakistan from executing
Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
The ICJ has set a timetable for the public hearing in the high-profile case from February 18 to 21 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.
While India will argue first on February 18, Pakistan will get its chance to make submissions on February 19. Then India will reply on February 20 while Islamabad will make its closing submissions on February 21.
It is expected that the ICJ’s decision may be delivered by the summer of 2019.
(Inputs from PTI)