India Vs. Pakistan : Icj Hearing In The Kulbhushan Jadhav Case
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 on suspicion of spying and sabotage activities against Pakistan. Pakistan claimed that Jadhav was working with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistan accuses Jadhav of being a spy. India claims that he was kidnapped by Pakistani forces while in Iran on a business. He was allegedly arrested in Balochistan while he was entering through Iran.
He was sentenced to death in a Field General Court Martial on April 10, 2017 after three-and-a-half months of trial. He has been accused of espionage and working for the India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
India has been repeatedly requesting consular access to Mr. Jadhav while also demanding a certified copy of the charge sheet as well as the judgment. Pakistan has so far denied India’s request 16 times.
In the wake of this, India has cancelled maritime talks with Pakistan that was scheduled for April 17. On May 8, India instituted proceedings against Pakistan in the International Court of Justice – the principal judicial organ of the United Nations accusing Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations” for the manner in which it has detained and tried Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.
India has petitioned the ICJ, seeking a stay on the execution of former Indian Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani Military Court on espionage charges. India said Jadhav was framed on the basis of a “confessional video” and had been denied consular access, leaving his family and the Indian government with no information of his well-being.
The court proceedings, televised live, saw Harish Salve, Counsel for India arguing that it was not given a copy of the charges filed against Jadhav, whose so-called trial was carried out by a secret military court and that the need for wholesome compliance is greater when the charges are serious. In the Appeal, India has accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention”. It has contended that it was not informed of Mr. Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest, and that Pakistan failed to inform him of his rights.
The court later turned down Pakistan’s bid to play Jadhav’s “confession”
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) denying permission to Pakistan to play a “confessional” video of Kulbhushan Jadhav during the public hearing here today was a setback for Islamabad, India’s lead attorney Harish Salve said.
India demanded the immediate suspension of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was over.
Pakistan in its argument said India’s application on Jadhav’s death sentence was “unnecessary and misconceived” and that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
Pakistan claims that there were solid evidences were provided regarding alleged spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s ‘activities’. India failed to provide any evidence to counter Pakistan claim. India did not provide his birth certificate to prove his citizenship neither came forward to clarify his passport, which carried a Muslim name.
Mohammed Faisal, a Pakistan Foreign Office official, in his opening remarks accused India of using the court as the “scene of political theatre” and added that, “we will not respond in kind.”
Pakistan’s counsel Khawer Qureshi said while India had said Jadhav was an Indian national, India had not presented Pakistan with any evidentiary proof that he was Indian. The provisions of the Vienna Convention—a treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries—do not apply to a ‘spy’ involved in terror activities, Qureshi further argued.