India Completes Its Presentation At ICJ

Reputed lawyer Harish Salve presented India’s argument at the International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav who was given death sentence by Pakistan military court.

Hague (Netherlands): As the proceedings in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) began on Monday, India’s representative and eminent lawyer Harish Salve making his observations asserted that if Jadhav was to be executed, it would constitute no less than a war crime. Pointing out that Kulbhushan Jadhav was kidnapped and made to confess in military captivity, he told the court that his charge sheet was not even provided to New Delhi. Because of this, he said that India has no idea of what charges were filed against him.

On Monday morning the ICJ started proceeding in the case of India versus Pakistan relating to the death sentence handed by a Pakistani military court to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. India was represented by Joint Secretary Deepak Mittal (principal agent), Joint Secretary VD Sharma (co-agent), Harish Salve (counsel), Kajal Bhat, First Secretary, Embassy of India in the Netherlands (advisor) and Chetna N Rai (junior counsel).

Both the parties were given 90 minutes each by the court, to make their observations. India made its observations first with Deepak Mittal’s remarks.

Stating that New Delhi came to know about Jadhav’s death sentence from news reports, Mittal said that execution of Jadhav will cause irreversible damage to rights of India and him. He told the court that Pakistan did not provide the charge sheet or any documents on the case despite repeated requests, which clearly means that Jadhav was denied his right to seek legal counsel. Even the visa application by Jadhav’s parents to travel to Pakistan fell on deaf ears, he observed.

Speaking after Mittal, co-agent Sharma stated that, by denying consular access to Jadhav since he was arrested in March 2016, Pakistan failed to comply with all its legal obligations. He added that India is seeking relief in the form of immediate suspension of the death sentence. He also observed that ICJ must restrain Pakistan from implementing the sentence awarded by the military court and sought the court to direct Pak to annul its decision.

The counsel representing India, Harish Salve began his statement by quoting a set of precedents to this case. Saying that Pakistan cannot deny consular access to Jadhav under Vienna convention, he quoted Costa Rica versus Nicaragua case, Paraguay versus USA and Germany versus USA case.

Pointing out that India will always state that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, Salve demanded immediate legal representation for Jadhav as the case is serious and urgent. Asserting that Jadhav was denied the right to defend himself, he said that even his confession was extracted in military custody. He also told the court that there were no indications from Pakistan about whether Jadhav can seek or receive clemency.

He also expressed concern of the nation, he said, “We fear that Jadhav will be executed before the trial ends.”

Pakistan has responded to India’s presentation. It has put forward what Indian diplomats call sham defence of the military court judgment.

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