Hearings at the Hague: Stop Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution, says India, Pakistan cites 150-day period

Pakistan, which wanted to screen a six-minute video of Jadhav’s confession at the ICJ, was denied permission by the court.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: May 16, 2017 8:14 am
Kulbhushan Jadhav, kulbhushan jadhav updates, icj, international court of justice, hague, pakistan, india pakistan, jadhav, kulbhushan jadhav death sentence, kulbhushan jadhav hearing, indian express news, india news The Indian team at The Hague on Monday. AP photo

IN A tense face-off on Monday at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, India sought “annulment” of the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court while Pakistan said the clemency process of 150 days should be exercised first and the plea citing urgency should be “dismissed”.

Pakistan, which wanted to screen a six-minute video of Jadhav’s confession at the ICJ, was denied permission by the court. However, its representative displayed a purported copy of Jadhav’s Indian passport, issued in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel, on a screen inside the packed courtroom.

Read | Kulbhushan Jadhav could be executed before arguments are heard: India at ICJ

After hearing arguments from both sides, the Court’s President Ronny Abraham said the verdict would be announced “as soon as possible” and the date “duly communicated”.

On April 10, Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was given the death sentence by a military court in Pakistan for alleged “espionage and subversive activities”.

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On May 8, India approached the ICJ for an urgent hearing, seeking suspension of the verdict.

Arguing before the 11-judge bench at the ICJ, which included former Supreme Court Judge Dalveer Bhandari, India’s counsel Harish Salve stressed that not granting consular access and not giving legal representation of Jadhav’s choosing amounted to “miscarriage of justice” and “violation” of his right to defend himself from “concocted” charges in a “farcical trial”.

Read | At ICJ, India versus Pakistan: All that happened 18 years ago

Deepak Mittal, joint secretary in charge of Pakistan in the Ministry of External Affairs, said India’s requests to grant consular access “fell on deaf ears” in the neighbouring country.

On behalf of Pakistan, counsel Khawar Qureshi sought the “dismissal” of India’s application, saying there was “no urgency” as the clemency process lasted 150 days. While stressing that the “court’s time is precious”, he said the forum was not for “grandstanding and political point-scoring”.

Qureshi also said that the Vienna Convention’s provisions on consular access were not intended for a “spy” involved in terror activities.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry director general (South Asia & SAARC), Mohammad Faisal, accused India of using the ICJ for “political theatre”, and asked the court not to entertain the application.

In his opening statements, Mittal 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.”

He said that there have been as many as 18 executions in Pakistan since April 10, which had got New Delhi worried about Jadhav’s fate. Salve said, “The execution of the death sentence cannot be done while this court is hearing the appeal. Else, it will be a violation of the Vienna Convention.”

Pakistan had denied India 16 requests for consular access, Salve said. “The graver the charges, the greater the need for continued adherence of the Vienna Convention. Jadhav has been in judicial custody without any communication with his family,” he said. The rights of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations are sacrosanct, Salve said, citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that recognises that no one can be arbitrarily deprived of their lives.

Questioning the impartiality of the process, Salve said that although Pakistan claimed that Jadhav had the right to appeal, his mercy plea would be heard by “two-star generals”.

”The result is a foregone conclusion,” Salve said, while questioning the “confession” which was “extracted” from Jadhav in captivity. The right to remedy offered by Pakistan is “illusory”, he said.

Faisal, representing Pakistan, said India’s claim that Jadhav will be executed “within days” is “totally false”. On the alleged confession by Jadhav, he said Pakistan cannot force the “canary” to stop singing. He said the confession video was available publicly, and that he wanted to screen it but the Court had informed him that it had already “seen” it.

Qureshi, Pakistan’s counsel, insisted that India had misrepresented Pakistan’s position on consular access. He cited the bilateral consular access agreement’s clause, where it can be decided on the basis of merit in political and security-related cases. Referring to Jadhav as “Commander Jadhav”, Qureshi sought to emphasise that he was a serving Navy officer, contrary to India’s position that he had retired from its Navy and was running a business in Iran.

Qureshi also claimed that India did not submit the entire dossier on the case to the ICJ, while his side had handed over the names of 13 officials named by Jadhav in his confession.

He said that Pakistan wanted phone records and bank account details of Jadhav and that it had handed over details of the charges against him and a copy of his passport.

Stressing that the request for assistance in investigation was not a “condition” for consular access but a “fundamental requirement”, he said it was misleading to say that Pakistan had put forward a conditionality.

Pakistan also termed as “bizarre” India’s description of the Pakistani military court as a “Kangaroo court”.

Describing as “far-fetched” India’s assertion that Jadhav was abducted from Iran, Pakistan’s counsel said that India and Pakistan have a long border, and there were “millions of people to choose from”.

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  1. A
    May 16, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    India always refuse a third party mediation on any dispute between the two countries, now Why India went to ICJ, a third party, to solve a "bilateral issue"? Because India is caught "red-handed" in Kulbhushan's case.
    1. R
      Rajveer Singh
      May 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm
      Why Indians have gone to ICJ as it will open new venue for stan, 1998 pokran gave stan nuclear power. 1971 gave stan to interfere in Indian state now tamilnado, mesoram, chatesgarh, Kashmir, Khalistan, bengal, bodoland are all hit. India support for Afghanistan resulted in stan support to Nepal.
      1. A
        An Indian
        May 16, 2017 at 11:00 am
        It is hilarious that Indians are demanding a fair trial for Jadhav . 100's of Indians have been murdered in fake encounters in the last 17 years . And we completely ignored their deaths , because it was convenient to do so . did Ishrat Jehan get legal istance before she was murdered in a fake encounter ? They had zero evidence against her BEFORE she was murdered .She was declared a terrorist after her death based on rumors and hearsay. Pak1stan could have very easily killed Jadhav in a fake encounter and declared him a terrorist afterwards , as they have already done to hundreds in balochistan .
        1. A
          An Indian
          May 16, 2017 at 10:40 am
          Hilarious to observe Indians crying about fair trial , natural justice and human rights. 100's of kashmiri youth were shot with pellet guns , blinded , mutilated or killed . Children as young as 6-8 years old were shot and BLINDED , and millions of Indians were joyously celebrating these barbarities . What principles of natural justice and human rights did we follow before we BLINDED and killed them ? Do we also have to be reminded of the innumerable FAKE ENCOUNTERS that have occurred in India in the last 17 years ? It would have been very easy for pak1stan to eliminate Jadhav in a fake encounter and declare him a terrorist afterwards . Jadhav maybe indeed be Innocent , but NOT the Indian Govt .Unfortunately Jadhav may end up paying for the crimes of his masters.
          1. P
            May 16, 2017 at 9:22 am
            Hopefully porkistan will ignore ICJ's ru . If that happens, India can inturn reject all porkistani international appeals including the Indus water issue
            1. S
              Sreesheel Sreekumar
              May 16, 2017 at 9:15 am
              I am a little confused ! We are fighting in the ICJ to reverse the sentence of the stani Military Court and subsequently bring him back to India ! But how can the court give a judgement without hearing Kulbhushan himself ?? Kulbhushan should be produced in the court and let the stanis prove that he is guilty !
              1. A
                An Indian
                May 16, 2017 at 10:58 am
                Indians are demanding a fair trial , i wonder if we ever asked if did Ishrat Jehan got legal istance before she was murdered in a fake encounter ? They had zero evidence against her BEFORE she was murdered .She was declared a terrorist after her death based on rumors and hearsay. And she was not the only case , There have been hundreds of fake encounters all across India , people have been kept in illegal custody and murdered . Pak1stan could have very easily killed Jadhav in a fake encounter and declared him a terrorist afterwards , as they have already done to hundreds in balochistan .
              2. M
                May 16, 2017 at 8:24 am
                The porky uneducated counsellors thought they were delivering justice in a poky kangaroo court forgetting that they are standing before the world court and got truely and badly exposed and the w world are laughing at them,----PORKIS exposed,----Jai hind.
                1. M
                  Mohammad Dar
                  May 16, 2017 at 9:14 am
                  in hindu drunk on hindu filthy cow cola mind of a hyena of hinduism ignorance to truth by faith, pretending to be human being.
                2. M
                  Mohammad Dar
                  May 16, 2017 at 8:07 am
                  Very hindu funny scene in the Hague court, laying hog of hinduism immorality , attorney of land of hindrance tan sweated through his hindu stinky buts, to convenience court for a hindu illegal move, to hold execution of a hindu terrorist from thr hindu immoral zoo of hinduism illegality india, having no justification nor any reason for the court to take up the issue regarding a hindu criminal hyena in human form,
                  1. B
                    bap of jihadi md dar
                    May 16, 2017 at 8:28 am
                    1. R
                      ramesh ahuja
                      May 16, 2017 at 9:48 am
                      Thanks for your comments on Hindu religion and tarnishing your own religion. Mark my words and write a note in your diary now with time and date.You guys will fight and kill yourself in coming days and years, true but sad you will be vanished from the society, please humble request not it down
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