The next hearing in the case of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court of Justice that has stayed his execution in Pakistan, may take place on May 15, senior lawyer Harish Salve, who is representing India at the Hague, has said. He said Pakistan’s immediate reaction to the stay, pronounced yesterday, was essentially “political” and that India will respond if it raises any legal issue.
“We moved (the ICJ) for provisional relief. The case depends on also how much time Pakistan wants to put in its response to the petition which we have filed. Tentatively it will be on 15th (of May). We may have to be there and we have informed the court we are available any day next week,” he told Times Now.
On consular access to 47-year-old Jadhav, Salve said there are provisions in the Vienna Convention under which when a person is arrested in a foreign country, the counsel of his country has to be informed.
“The counsel of the country to which the man belongs has the right of access to that person. The basic idea is that if you are caught in a place where you are a stranger, people from your country are there to help you,” he said.
Jadhav has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “spying”. The order of the Hague-based ICJ yesterday staying Jadhav’s execution came a day after India approached it against a Pakistan Field General Court Martial decision last month sentencing him to death, according to official sources.
India, in its appeal before the ICJ, has accused Pakistan of “egregious” (shocking) violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
The plea has said that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy, but Pakistan claimed he was arrested from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.