As reported by PTI, a four-day public hearing in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a Retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage would begin today.
ICJ has set a timetable for the public hearing in the high-profile case from 18-02-2019 to 21-02-2019 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands. India will argue first on February 18, Pakistan will get its chance to make submissions on February 19. Then India will reply on February 20 while Islamabad will make its closing submissions on February 21.
It is expected that the ICJ’s decision may be delivered by the summer of 2019.
Please refer the link for the background of the case: Kulbhushan Jadhav Case
Live Updates: [First Day of Hearing] [India v. Pakistan]
- Harish Salve is representing India and Kulbhushan Jadhav.
- Kulbhushan Jadhav in respect to the facts was not made aware of his consular access.
- Harish Salve: there are only two broad issues in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. The first issue relates to the construction of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. The second issue relates to relief.
- It is an egregious violation of the Vienna Convention.
- 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.
- Salve: ICJ has already upheld the importance of consular access under Article 36.
- Article 36 facet of the due process.
- Article 36 of the Vienna Convention cannot be modified by Bilateral treaties, could only supplement it.
- Article 36 becomes a vital cog in the wheel of justice.
- Pakistan should’ve provided a substantial explanation for why it needed 3 months for providing consular access, upon which it could’ve claimed that it has complied with the treaty obligation. Even on the erroneous premise that para 4 applies, Pakistan hasn’t complied treaty obligations.
- Article 73(2) of the Vienna Convention will apply in the present case. Article 30 of the said convention does not override Article 73(2).
- Break of 10 minutes.
- The hearing resumes after the break.
- Salve: Article 36 has been recognized as a rubric for human rights.
- Trial by military court fails to satisfy even minimum standards of due process and should be declared “unlawful”.
- Salve states that: “Disrespectful allegations against India”. Cases cited by Pakistan have no relevance in the present case.
- Despite repeated attempts by India to sign a treaty for mutual legal assistance, Pakistan has refused. The reason is that there are several pending cases that involve terrorism.
- Pakistan has always been offered consular access even when its citizens have been caught red-handed in acts of terrorism.
- “Proceedings in Pakistani military courts fall far short of international standards. In the 2 years military courts have been allowed to convict civilians, 161 civilians have been given death sentence in an opaque manner.” 90% of convictions are based on confessions and the reasons are not made public.
- Military proceedings are kept totally secretive, due to which detainees are bound to torture.
- I would invite this court to keep in mind the relief to be granted in the backdrop of the fact that his trial has been conducted by a military court, states Salve.
- “Pakistan has knowingly, willfully and brazenly violated Article 36 of the Vienna Conventions in respect of Kulbhushan Jadhav Case. Therefore, consequences may follow.”
- Pakistan’s conduct doesn’t confirms that Jadhav would receive justice in Pakistan.
- De-humanizing behaviour towards Jadhav’s family.
- A resolution was passed by Lahore Bar Association threatening anyone who would dare appear for Jadhav in Pakistan courts. Bar Association also criticised ICJ’s grant of provisional measures
- Pakistan has acted illegally, Salve.
- Pakistan used Jadhav to build a narrative against India.
- Kulbhushan Jadhav case used as propaganda by Pakistan.
- Salve emphasizes: Review and reconsideration of the case would be inadequate. The relief should be in the form of a direction to set Jadhav free.
- India: It has established that not allowing consular access is gross violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan.
- In the present case, relief of review & re-consideration would be highly inadequate, considering facts & circumstances.
- India seeks annulment of Jadhav’s conviction and a direction that he be released.
Pakistan’s round of arguments to begin tomorrow. [19-02-2019]
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s hearing.