The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hold public hearings on Monday in the case of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. The announcement was made by ICJ on 10 May, a day after it stayed Jadhav's execution following India's initiation of proceedings against Pakistan, accusing the latter of "egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations". According to the ICJ statement, an oral observation by India will begin at 10 am (1.30 pm IST) and go on till 11.30 am, following which oral observation by Pakistan will begin at 3 pm and is expected to go on till 4.30 pm.
The ICJ will have an open hearing on the Jadhav execution case involving India and Pakistan at The Hague. With the court involved, it is no longer a battle of bilateral wills. Also, the case has strong ramifications for India which has never allowed to make the bilateral issue with Pakistan multi-lateral. The last time it did so was in 1971. Of late, several countries seem to have taken up the cry to "interfere" in resolving the Kashmir dispute.
"The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings on Monday, May 15, 2017...in the proceedings instituted by India on May 8, 2017 against Pakistan. The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by India," the ICJ said in a release.
File image of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Image courtesy: Screengrab
India had told ICJ that Jadhav "will be subjected to execution unless the court indicates provisional measures directing the government of Pakistan to take all measures necessary to ensure that he is not executed until th(e) Court's decision on the merits" of the case.
India pointed out that Jadhav's execution "would cause irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India".
Noting that India has been informed by the ICJ that an action has been initiated on "provisional measures" sought by New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay in New Delhi said there is "legal juridical procedure" that will be followed.
Earlier, the ICJ president wrote to the Pakistani prime minister, saying, "In my capacity as president of the court,.. I call upon your excellency's government, pending the court's decision on the request for the indication of provisional measures to act in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on this request to have its appropriate effects."
On whether the "provisional measures" granted by the ICJ including a halt to Jadhav's execution was binding on Pakistan, Baglay referred to the clauses in ICJ rules which said "a request for the indication of provisional measures shall have priority over all other cases".
India had submitted that it has information that Jadhav was "kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy and was then shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan" on 3 March, 2016, and that Indian authorities were notified of that arrest on 25 March, 2016, a ICJ press release had said on Sunday.
Jadhav, 46, was given the death sentence by the Field General Court Martial in Pakistan last month, evoking a sharp reaction in India, which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the "pre-meditated murder" was carried out. Jadhav was sentenced to death for "espionage and subversive activities".
India acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy, but denied that he has any connection with the government. India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav's mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: May 18, 2017 18:35:40 IST