The International Court of Justice (ICJ) started hearing the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Naval officer.
Last month, the Pak Military court had awarded the death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and subversive activities and in charges of spying.
Both the sides are given 90 minutes each to present their arguments. India presented its arguments on the case first, followed by Pakistan later in the day. The ICJ is holding public hearings in the case at the Great Hall of Justice in Peace Palace at The Hague in Netherlands. India has presented its case from 1:30 to 3:00 pm (IST) and Pakistan will present from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, had been sentenced to death about a month ago by a Pakistani military court on grounds of espionage and sabotage. India contested the move and dragged Pakistan to the ICJ on May 8 for refusing consular access to Jadhav and for violating the Vienna Convention on consular relations.
At the ICJ hearing, Deepak Mittal, who represented India, described the charges against Jadhav as “concoted” and his trial as “farcical”. He further argued that the human rights treated as “basics” all over and had been thrown to the wind by Pakistan and all the request for consular access to Jadhav had fallen on “deaf ears.”
Senior Advocate, Harish Salve during the hearing said, the present situation is tough and that is the reason we sought the indulgence of the ICJ. India further claims the individual’s rights and the rights of India, under the Vienna Convention, that have been violated since the arrest of Jadhav.
The former Solicitor General said, “Since March 2016, India had made many requests for consular access. Pakistan wantedly did not provide any consular access and refused to communicate to the consular officers of the charges against Jadhav, and even the evidence and materials presented against him in the so-called trial. Because of the denial of access to Jadhav, the consular officers of India are being unable to arrange legal representation for him and assure themselves of his well-being and safety.
The counsel of defence further said that Jadhav had been even denied legal help in Pakistan and his alleged confession to the charges against him had been admonished on him, while he was in military custody. Salve said, “Jadhav was framed on confessional statements extracted from him when he was in Pakistan’s military custody. It is clear that Jadhav has been denied of his right to seek legal counsel. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a judicial decision is passed.”
India urging the international court to indicate provisional measures in the Jadhav case, enumerated four appeals:
1) To declare the death sentence illegal.
2) Restitution for Pakistan for being violative of international law and treaty rights.
3) Restrain Pakistan from acting in violation of the Vienna Convention and international law by giving effect to the sentence or the conviction in any manner.
4) Directing it to release the convicted Indian National forthwith, if Pakistan is unable to annul the decision.
On May 8, India appealed against the death sentence alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan after its 16 requests for consular access were denied. However, ICJ stayed the sentence the next day.