The International Court of Justice is expected to announce its verdict in Kulbhushan Yadav death sentence case today. The ICJ will pronounce the judgement at 3.30 PM on Thursday. A former Indian Navy official-turned-businessman, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April. Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran and arrested last year by Pakistan in Balochistan region on spying charges. India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week to seek an immediate stay of the impending execution of Jadhav.
The ICJ heard arguments from India and Pakistan on Monday. India sought ICJ intervention to ensure that a) Pakistan take all measures necessary to ensure that Jadhav is not executed; (b) Pakistan report to the Court the action it has taken in pursuance of the first demand; (c) Pakistan should ensure that no action is taken that
might prejudice the rights of India or Jadhav with respect to any decision the Court may render on the merits of the case. Pakistan demanded ICJ to reject India’s demands.
At the ICJ, India was represented by joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Deepak Mittal and lead attorney Harish Salve, while Pakistan was represented by Mohammad Faisal of the Pakistan Foreign
Office and lawyer Khawar Qureshi.
It is expected that the ICJ would take cognisance of the blatant violation of Vienna convention by Pakistan and issue necessary direction.
Here are the top five arguments made by India and Pakistan respectively in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice:
1. Kulbhushan 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.
2. 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. 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 be deprived of their lives. India had not been given the copy of the charges filed against Jadhav.
3. “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,” said Salve, adding, “The need for a wholesome compliance is greater when charges are serious. We want appropriate legal representation for Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he said.
4. Human rights treated as “basics” all over had been thrown to the wind by Pakistan and the trial had been vitiated, India argued. Pakistan had denied India its 16 requests for consular access. Not just had all requests for consular access fallen on “deaf ears”, the trial was conducted without providing Jadhav his rights. Pakistan did not even respond to Jadhav’s mother’s pleas to see her son, India told the court.
5. Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. He had no connection with the government. Pakistan Foreign Office has made “baseless, contrived and propaganda- driven allegations” against Jadhav.
1. India’s application on Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities last month, was “unnecessary and misconceived” and must be dismissed.
2. India has seen it fit to use the International Court of Justice as a stage for “political theatre” but “we will not respond in kind”. Pakistan argued that India had been unable or “perhaps more accurately unwilling to provide” an explanation for Jadhav’s passport which has a Muslim name on it. “We submit that India’s silence is telling. Indeed. India could and should have responded to a letter of request dated January 23, 2017, seeking India’s assistance to investigate the criminal activity and links with people of India which commander Jadhav has revealed,” Faisal said.
3. Faisal alleged that India appears to have been in hyperdrive mode to brief its press that Jadhav took early retirement and was kidnapped in Iran from where he was brought to Pakistan to give a false confession presumably, Faisal alleged.
4. Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a “spy” involved in terror activities. On India invoking the Vienna Convention, Qureshi said, “The Vienna convention article 36 which adopted to set up standards of conduct particularly concerning communications and contact with nationals of the sending state which would contribute to the development of the friendly relations among nations…the observation we made immediately is this is unlikely to apply in the context of a spy, terrorist send by a state to engage in acts of terror.”
5. India has sought to persuade this court that Pakistan intends to execute Jadhav within days. “Simply by referring to the clemency process available as a right to commander Jadhav. A period of 150 days is provided for in this regard which even if (it) started on April 10, 2017, which is the date of conviction at first instance, could extend to well beyond August 2017…There is also, of course, the potential for the writ petition of the High Court to be invoked as we believe India must be well aware,” Pakistan lawyer Khawar Qureshi said.
(With agency inputs)