Amid fresh tensions between India and Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Monday began the four-day public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Harish Salve, presenting India’s arguments before the top court today at The Hague sought annulment of Jadhav’s conviction and a direction that he be released from custody.
“In the present case, review and reconsideration of the case would be inadequate. The relief should be in the form of a direction to set Jadhav free,” he asserted.
Following Salve’s submission, the sitting of the international court was adjourned for the day. It will resume tomorrow with Pakistan making its first round of arguments.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in 2016 on charges of espionage and sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan. While the Pakistan side claims that Jadhav is an Indian spy, New Delhi maintains that he is a retired Navy official who was kidnapped. The ICJ had ordered Pakistan to stay the execution till the adjudication of the case.
Hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case began today at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague. Follow HIGHLIGHTS
Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing adjourned till tomorrow
Seeking annulment of Kulbhushan Jadhav's conviction and a direction that he be released, Harish Salve concluded for India. The sitting was adjourned for the day. Pakistan will make its first round of arguments tomorrow.
Journalists, foreground, takes images at the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, February 18, 2019. (Source: AP Photo)
Relief should be in the direction to set Jadhav free: Salve
Insisting on its demand to free Kulbhushan Jadhav free, Harish Salve said, "In present case, review and reconsideration of case would be inadequate. The relief should be in the form of a direction to set Jadhav free."
Rights of Kulbhushan Jadhav have been brazenly violated: Salve
"Rights of Kulbhushan Jadhav and India have been brazenly violated by Pakistan. Consequences must follow. Pakistan's conduct does not inspire confidence that Jadhav will get justice in Pakistan," Harish Salve asserted.
The International Court of Justice
Judges are seen at the International Court of Justice during the final hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in The Hague, the Netherlands, February 18, 2019. (Source: REUTERS)
'Proceedings in Pakistani military courts fall short of international standards'
"Pakistan amended its Army Act to allow military courts to try civilians. The working of Pakistani military courts has been censured by European Parliament. Proceedings in Pakistani military courts fall far short of international standards. In the two years military courts have been allowed to convict civilians, 161 civilians have been given death sentence in an opaque manner," Salve alleged.
Pakistan delegation at ICJ
Pakistan delegation at ICJ: (L-R) Attorney Anwar Mansoor Khan, Pakistani foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal and Queen's Counsel Khawar Qureshi are seen at the International Court of Justice during the final hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in The Hague, the Netherlands, February 18, 2019. (Source: REUTERS)
India always provided consular access option to Pakistani nationals: Salve
"India has always offered consular access to Pakistan even when its citizens have been caught red-handed in acts of terrorism. It is another matter that Pakistan has never availed of the same," Salve said.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India at ICJ
Court session resumes at ICJ
Judges take their seats, Harish Salve resumes submissions for India. Strictest and most rigorous guarantees must be undertaken in cases of death penalty, Salve cites from a judgment of an Inter-American court.
Pakistan hasn't complied to the treaty obligations: India at ICJ
Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing
Sitting in the Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing has been adjourned for ten minutes.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case
Presenting Kulbhushan Jadhav's case at ICJ, Salve quoted Article 5, 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which deal with rights of arrested and detained persons.
Bilateral treaties can only supplement Vienna Convention: Salve at ICJ
Clarifying on the bilateral treaties signed between India and Pakistan, Salve said that nothing in them goes against Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. "Bilateral treaties can only supplement Vienna Convention," Salve said.
Pakistan failed to provide credible evidence: India at ICJ
Harish Salve, presenting India's case at ICJ said, "On June 19, 2017, India responded to the request for assistance in investigation and pointed that not only Jadhav had been denied consular access but no credible evidence have been provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in any act of terrorism and his (Jadhav's) purported confession clearly appears to be coaxed. India reminded Pakistan that it's Pakistan government which hasn't ratified SAARC convention on legal assistance in criminal matters."
Kulbhushan Jadhav case:
There is nothing to show that consular access would have hampered the investigation or Pakistan's national security, Salve said.
"It is an egregious violation of the Vienna Convention'
Taking up the first issue, Salve said that the Article 36 requires the officials of receiving state to inform the sending state about detention of citizens of latter. Consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them. He further said, "Interpretation of Article 36 must be informed in relation to human rights." Citing precedents, Salve said, "Restrictive interpretation would be contrary to plain terms of Article 36. Consular access must be granted before trial is finished. This case involves an egregious breach of Article 36."
Harish Salve presents India's side at ICJ (Source: Twitter/ANI)
'Jadhav not made aware of his right to consular access'
"Pakistan was bound to grant consular access. Facts seems to suggest that even Jadhav was not made aware of his right to consular access," Harish Salve said.
Harish Salve at ICJ, Hague
Ex-solicitor general Harish Salve said there are only two broad issues in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. First issue relates to the construction of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. The second issue relates to relief. Restitutio in integrum is a basic principle, Salve said.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case: 'Pak story weak on facts'
"Pakistan is embarrassed to disclose the judgment in the Jadhav case, the charges against him, and the evidence. The story has always been strong on rhetoric and weak on facts," Salve said.
WATCH VIDEO: Harish Salve presents India's case
Representing India and Kulbhushan Jadhav in ICJ, Harish Salve said, "Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful."
Ties strained, India to push its point
The hearings come at a time when ties between India and Pakistan have hit a low following the Pulwama terror attack. The Indian side is expected to push its point that Pakistan has been breaking international rules and human rights laws. While India will argue on Monday, Pakistan will make submissions on February 19. India will then reply on February 20 and Pakistan will make its closing submissions on February 21.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing
India's counsel Harish Salve reads out the timeline of the case at the International Court of Justice in Hague.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case so far
Jadhav was accused of working for Indian intelligence services in the province bordering Afghanistan, where Islamabad has long accused India of backing separatist rebels. After a closed trial, he was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 10, 2017, on charges of “espionage, sabotage and terrorism”. India insists Jadhav was not a spy, and that he was kidnapped in Pakistan. New Delhi in court documents is asking that the ICJ order Islamabad to annul the sentence.
It has accused Islamabad of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking human rights laws. If Pakistan is unable to quash Jadhav’s death sentence, Islamabad should be found in violation of international law and treaties, and be told to “release the convicted Indian national forthwith”, India said. The ICJ’s decision will likely come months after this week’s hearings.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case
Harish Salve presents India’s arguments before the top court today.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing begins
The hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case began with the judge reading out the case history. Each party has been given 3 hours to present it's side.
Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?
Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was arrested by Pakistani officials on March 3, 2016, on suspicion of espionage and sabotage activities against the country. Claiming that Jadhav was an Indian spy, the Pakistani military court sentenced him to death. The Indian side, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy and that he has no links with the government. The execution was stayed after India’s appeal at International Court of Justice.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case: What will happen at ICJ today?
India will make the first round of oral arguments from 10 am to 1 pm in The Hague (2.30 pm to 5.30 pm IST). According to the schedule released by the ICJ registry on October 3 last year, Pakistan will make its arguments at the same time tomorrow (February 19) and both countries will make a second round of oral arguments on February 20 and 21 respectively.
Welcome to the live blog. India's Harish Salve will lead Indian arguments at the ICJ in Kulbhushan Jadhav case today. Follow this space track to latest news.