Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: What happened when India and Pakistan moved to ICJ in earlier two ocassions

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Updated: July 17, 2019 4:44:45 PM

The first time the two countries had approached ICJ was in February 1971, India had approached the top UN court close on the heels of an incident which involved diversion of an Indian aircraft to Pakistan, which had forced India to suspending Pakistan civil flights over Indian airspace.

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For the fourth time the International Court of Justice (ICJ) based at The Hague is going to adjudicate on a case related to India and Pakistan today. The ICJ has been very cautious in not passing judgement which could be interpreted as one-sided in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

The first time the two countries had approached ICJ was in February 1971, India had approached the top UN court close on the heels of an incident which involved diversion of an Indian aircraft to Pakistan, which had forced India to suspending Pakistan civil flights over Indian airspace.

Also read: Mumbai 26/11 attack mastermind, JuD chief Hafiz Saeed arrested in Pakistan

At the time, Pakistan had informed the international court that it was in breach of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation and the International Air Services Transit Agreement and had gone ahead and filed a complaint with the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

India had raised objections on the jurisdiction of the Council, and appealed to the top Court and at the time of the proceedings Pakistan claimed that the Court was not competent to hear the appeal.

Subsequently, in August 1972, in its judgement, the Court found that it was competent to hear the appeal of India and had decided that the ICAO Council was competent to deal with the Application filed by India and the Complaint by Pakistan. The appeal made by India was dismissed.

Again, in the summer of 1973, neighbouring Pakistan had filed a case against India related to 195 prisoners of war, where Pakistan accused India of intentions of handing them over to the newly created Bangladesh. Pakistan claimed that Bangladesh was intending to try them for acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

However, India argued that there was no legal basis for the Court’s jurisdiction in the matter and that Pakistan’s application was without legal effect. During the public hearings that the ICJ had carried out, India was not represented.

Two months later in July 1973, after starting negotiations with India, Pakistan approached the ICJ and urged it to postpone further consideration of its request. And returned later to inform that it is has resolved the matter amicably with India.

The two countries had approached the ICJ was in September following the Kargil Conflict in 1999. Pakistan had approached the court seeking $ 60 million in damages when it accused India of shooting down of a maritime reconnaissance aircraft Atlantique by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in its air space in the Kutch region. All the 16 naval personnel on board were killed in that.

Despite Pakistan’s insistence that Indian has been violating its territorial space, the ICJ ruled (14-2) that it lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute brought by Pakistan against India.

The neighbouring nation had insisted that India’s territorial intrusion violated the 1991 Agreement on Prevention of Air Space Violations between both countries and wanted India to bear international responsibility.

At that time Pakistan had urged the ICJ to hold India responsible and to pay up for the loss of the maritime aircraft as well as compensate the families who lost their loved ones.

The case at the time was dismissed by the court on grounds of jurisdiction and not merits, after which both countries decided that the matter of jurisdiction be decided first before the merits of the case is discussed.

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