The Hague: India fears that Kulbhushan Jadhav could be executed by Pakistan before its arguments are heard, India's attorney Harish Salve said at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday.
The Indian national, who had been arrested on 3 March last year and sentenced to death on allegations of espionage and subversive activities, had been framed on the basis of confessional statements extracted from him when he was in Pakistan's military custody, Salve added.
As the ICJ began hearing Jadhav's case, India argued that human rights treated as "basics" all over had been thrown to the wind by Pakistan.
We want appropriate legal representation for Jadhav, India told the UN's main judicial body which has stayed his death sentence.
New Delhi has called for immediate suspension of Jadhav's death sentence and accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention by denying its 16 requests for consular access.
All requests for consular access to 46-year-old Jadhav had fallen on "deaf ears", it said.
The present situation, Salve said before the court, was grave and that is why India had sought its indulgence. He described Jadhav's trial process as "farcical" and stressed that Pakistan did not respond to Jadhav's mother's plea to see her son.
Earlier at ICJ, Deepak Mittal, Indian official, said: "Jadhav has not got the right to get proper legal assistance and the right to consular access. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a decision is passed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ),"
"India learnt from press reports that the death sentence was awarded to Jadhav on the basis of an alleged confession. Pakistan has not provided the chargesheet, any documents on the case despite repeated requests," Mittal told the court.
"It is clear that Jadhav has been denied his right to seek legal counsel. Jadhav's parents have applied for a visa to travel to Pakistan which has fallen on deaf ears."
VD Sharma, a Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry and co-agent, said Pakistan had failed to comply with all its legal obligations by denying consular access to Jadhav ever since he was arrested in March 2016.
India is presenting its case first, followed by Pakistan later in the day. Both sides will get 90 minutes each to argue their case. Pakistan's session will begin in the evening.
India had appealed against the death sentence on 8 May alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan. On May 9, ICJ gave Jadhav a lease of life.
India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. However, it denies that he has any connection with the government.
Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province.
The ICJ was last a battleground for India and Pakistan nearly 18 years ago when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.
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(With agency inputs)
Updated Date: May 15, 2017 15:50 PM