India on Monday urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to annul former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence by a Pakistani military court and order his immediate release. Representing India and Jadhav at the top UN court, senior lawyer Harish Salve said that the verdict based on a "farcical case" hopelessly fails to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.
While pointing to violations of the Vienna Convention, Salve said that Pakistan had also not complied with the provisions of the 2008 bilateral agreement with India. "Pakistan's conduct doesn't inspire confidence that Jadhav can get justice there. Pakistan has in custody an Indian national who has been publicly portrayed to be a terrorist and Indian agent creating unrest in Balochistan. Pakistan used Jadhav to build a narrative against India, a pawn to further their propaganda," he told the court.
Pakistan will get to present its first round of arguments on Tuesday. On the official website of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a section titled 'The Jadhav Case (India v Pakistan) - Updated Key Facts Sheet' mentioned six "key points which India will need to answer". These are also the arguments Pakistan is expected to raise during the hearing:
"India says Jadhav was an innocent Indian national who was kidnapped from Iran to make him confess to being an Indian RAW agent. India has failed to make good this allegation despite repeated requests for evidence that he was kidnapped. Why not?"
"India says Jadhav retired from the Indian Navy — India has failed to explain when/why he retired (he was only 47 years old when arrested). Why not?"
"India refuses to explain how Jadhav was in possession of an authentic Indian passport issued in a false 'cover' Muslim name 'Hussein Mubarak Patel' which he had used at least 17 times to enter/exit India...India eventually said the passport was "clearly a forgery" but refuses to explain this statement, or why a highly credible independent UK expert is wrong when he says it is an authentic Indian passport issued by the Indian authorities. Why not?"
"India demands that the ICJ orders the "return" of Jadhav to India. However, the ICJ has repeatedly stated it is not a criminal court of appeal. It has always so far made it clear in all its decisions that, even if consular access was denied, the proper order is for there to be effective review and reconsideration by the local courts. Jadhav and his family have been able to seek this at any time since 10 April, 2017 in accordance with Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan. Instead, India launched proceedings in the ICJ 14 months after he was arrested and a month after he was convicted to seek a 'stay' order without a hearing. Why is India asking for an order for 'return' in the face of the ICJ's decision and the independent expert evidence confirming Pakistan has effective review and reconsideration before the High Court and Supreme Court?
"India has failed to explain why the Agreement on Consular Access between India and Pakistan dated 21 May, 2008 (which India drafted), and which provides (at Article (VI)) for either state to be entitled to consider a request for consular access "on its merits" where it involves a person implicated in national security matters, does not apply in this case. Why not?"
"India fails to explain why highly respected UK-based military law experts are wrong when they say that Pakistan's high court and Supreme Court provide an effective review and reconsideration of the military court process."
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017 on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017. India moved the ICJ the same year for "egregious violation" of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to the Indian national.
Subsequently, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case. The UN court began a four-day public hearing in the case on Monday.
With inputs from agencies
Follow live updates here.
The Great Diwali Discount!
Unlock 75% more savings this festive season. Get Moneycontrol Pro for a year for Rs 289 only.
Coupon code: DIWALI. Offer valid till 10th November, 2019 .
Updated Date: Feb 19, 2019 14:36:17 IST