Pak recorded Kulbhushan Jadhav's confession before filing FIR, denied consular access: Key allegations by India at ICJ

In its fight for former navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav's freedom, India on Monday made several allegations against Pakistan in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), basing its case on two broad issues — breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution.

The top UN court began a four-day public hearing in the case of Jadhav, 48, who was sentenced to death in 2017 by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage. Representing India and Jadhav in the ICJ, senior advocate Harish Salve laid a series of charges at Pakistan's door. Here are the allegations India made on Monday:

1. No date of arrest in letter

Salve listed out the chronology of events in Jadhav's case, including when it informed New Delhi about his arrest and the release of his supposed "confessional" video. He highlighted that Pakistan withheld facts, such as the date of his arrest.

 Pak recorded Kulbhushan Jadhavs confession before filing FIR, denied consular access: Key allegations by India at ICJ

Senior advocate Harish Salve at the ICJ on Monday. Twitter @ANI

2. Pakistan recorded confession before filing FIR

During the hearing, Salve said Pakistan filed the FIR almost a month after Jadhav's arrest. "Pakistan filed an FIR in the case a month after the date it (Pakistan) said that Jadhav was apprehended. The host country did not inform Jadhav of his rights. In a statement put out by the Pakistan Army chief, it was clear that Jadhav was not provided a lawyer to fight his plea," he said.

3. No consular access

Salve said that no "credible evidence" was provided by Pakistan to show Jadhav's involvement in any act of terrorism and his purported confession clearly appeared to be "coerced". "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.

"Consular access has to be given before being brought to trial. If consular access is jettisoned, it would render Article 36 of the Vienna Convention a dead letter."

4. India's request for consular access denied

According to Salve, India had sent 13 reminders to Pakistan for consular access to Jadhav, but Islamabad is yet to accede. The senior advocate also argued that despite repeated requests, no charge sheets or material from the trial court hearing has been provided to India.

5. Confession was extracted

Jadhav's purported confession clearly appeared to be "coerced", Salve said. "A (purported) confession of Jadhav was aired even before FIR was filed and trial resumed. His purported confession clearly appears to be coaxed. India reminded Pakistan that it's the Pakistan government which hasn't ratified the SAARC Convention on legal assistance in criminal matters," added Salve.

6. Jadhav's trial was 'opaque'

"Pakistan did not provide a lawyer to Jadhav, as was confirmed by the army chief in a statement. Subsequently, Pakistan announced death after trial conducted in an opaque manner. No trial document was given to India and Pakistan ignored India's request for case paper. India moved the ICJ after Pakistan ignored 13 reminders," said Salve.

7. 'Pakistani military courts fall far short of international standards'

The senior lawyer said Jadhav's trial by a Pakistani military court "hopelessly failed" to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process and requested the International Court of Justice to declare it "unlawful".

"It is an unfortunate case where the life of an innocent Indian is at risk," the ex-solicitor general said. "Pakistan's story is solely based on rhetoric and not facts," he said, adding that Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful.

Claiming that the proceedings in Pakistani military courts "fall far short of international standards", he said, "In the last two years, military courts have been allowed to convict civilians. 161 civilians have been given death sentence in an opaque manner."

"I would invite this court to keep in mind the relief to be granted in the backdrop of the fact that his trial has been conducted by a military court."

8. 'Pakistan's conduct doesn't inspire confidence'

On Pakistan's allegations against India, Salve hit back and said, "Pakistan's conduct in overall case is abuse (of its rights). Pakistan is abusing its right to defend itself in these proceedings."

"Pakistan's conduct doesn't inspire confidence that Jadhav can get justice in Pakistan. Pakistan has used Jadhav to build a narrative against India," Salve said.

Before Salve concluded his arguments for India, he sought the annulment of Jadhav's conviction and a direction that he be released. Pakistan will make its first round of arguments on Tuesday.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Feb 18, 2019 19:02:39 IST