Harish Salve charged Re 1 to fight Jadhav's case at ICJ: Swaraj

16 May, 2017, 10:01 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Nawaz Sharif Gen Bajwa India Tv

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday deferred its ruling on India's petition against the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Naval officer, by a Pakistani military court.

A Pakistani military court had sentenced death penalty to Jadhav in March previous year on charges of espionage and subversive activities.

While Pakistan alleged that Jadhav is a member of RAW, India said he was picked from the border of Afghanistan/Iran where he was doing his business after retiring from the Indian Navy.

ICJ president Ronny Abraham, after hearing arguments from both sides, said that the verdict would be announced "as soon as possible" and the date "duly communicated".

Ahead of the hearing today, Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry and is representing India in the retired Navy officer's case at the ICJ, ignored the handshake gesture by Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan's DG for South Asia and SAARC, and offered a "namaskar" instead. India sought relief from the ICJ including immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded to Jadhav, and restraining Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court, and directing it to take steps to annul the decision of the military court.

India has denied however Jadhav was a spy, and last week lodged a protest at the ICJ accusing Pakistan of "egregious violations of the Vienna convention".

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At the outset, Qureshi said India was invoking the jurisdiction of the court for "political theatre" and described as "bizzare" the description of Jadhav's trial as a kangaroo court. "Else, it will be a violation of the Vienna Convention", said Salve.

Mittal insisted Pakistan has failed to respond to all Indian demands for information about the case, snubbing requests for documents including the charge sheet, and has failed to provide Jadav with consular access.

The court's president already has written to Pakistan, urging it to take no action that could affect the hearing of the Indian request to prevent the death sentence. We have a long border with India where millions of people reside.

The UN Committee Against Torture, in its findings published last week, has expressed concerns over Pakistan government "authorising military courts to try civilians for terrorism related offences". Leading the Indian legal team, senior advocate Harish Salve focused on denial of consular access to Jadhav, in breach of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Dr Faisal said spies do not have rights of counsellor access and India did not produce evidence against Jadhav in the court.

"India's allegation regarding the kidnapping of its spy is not true and he [Jadhav] was arrested by Pakistani forces from Balochistan", he maintained.

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