‘Pakistan using Kulbhushan Jadhav case as propaganda tool,’ India tells UN court
A Pakistani military court sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death in April 2017 on charges of spying and terrorism after having claimed to have arrested him from its restive province Baluchistan in March 2016.Updated: Feb 18, 2019 16:50 IST
India on Monday said its national Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a farcical trial by a Pakistan military court without giving him consular access to India in breach of international law and convention.
Senior lawyer Harish Salve, appearing for India at the International Court of Justice that will hear the case for four days, said Pakistan has no substantive defence in the case and hadn’t even divulged fundamental details of the so-called offences for which Kulbhushan Jadhav had been convicted.
The face off comes against the backdrop of the Pulwama terror attack last week. Over 40 CRPF jawans were killed in the suicide bombing in south Kashmir that has led to national outrage and provoked Delhi to scrap the most favoured nation status to Pakistan.
Watch Death sentence awarded to Jadhav by Pak court farcical: India to ICJ
The world court had stayed Jadhav’s execution in a unanimous order in May 2017 after it was approached by New Delhi. India and Pakistan have submitted written pleadings on several occasions last year.
Jadhav, a former Navy officer, had started a business and was reported to be in Iran in this connection when, according to India, he was kidnapped in March 2016. He turned up in Pakistan a few weeks later in custody of the Pakistani military that claimed to have arrested him from Baluchistan and accused him of spying and espionage.
Salve, a former solicitor general, told the UN court that India had sent 13 reminders for consular access to Jadhav on various dates but had received no positive response from Pakistan.
He told the court that Pakistan also didn’t share any details of the investigation and the alleged “confession” was obtained from Jadhav even before registering an FIR.
“Considering the trauma he (Jadhav) has been subjected to over the past three years, it would be in the interest of justice of making human rights a reality, to direct his release,” Salve told the 15-judge court.
“India seeks relief in declaring that the trial by the military court in Pakistan... hopelessly fails to satisfy even minimum standards of due process and should be declared unlawful,” he said, attacking the Pakistani government to use the case as a means of propaganda.
Pakistan will present its arguments at the ICJ on February 19. India will reply to Pakistan’s argument on February 20. Pakistan will make its closing submission on February 21.
The ICJ is expected to deliver its judgment a few months later.
First Published: Feb 18, 2019 15:51 IST