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. India also called for immediate suspension of Jadhav’s death sentence.
The Indian national, who had been arrested on March 3 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 across the world, had been thrown to the wind by Pakistan. It also accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention by denying its 16 requests for consular access.
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.
India is presenting its case first, followed by Pakistan later in the day. Both sides will get 90 minutes each to argue their case before the UN’s principal judicial body.
India may avail a “short extension” beyond 90 minutes to present its case, the judge had said in his opening remarks.
India had appealed against the death sentence on May 8, 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. India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy but 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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