The International Court of Justice on Monday resumed the hearing in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage. Representing India and Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court, Harish Salve told ICJ that Pakistan had violated Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Jadhav. He demanded that Jadhav’s custody without providing consular access should be declared unlawful.
Here’s what Harish Salve told ICJ
1. The Pakistani military court hopelessly failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process in Kulbhsushan Jadhav case. It is an unfortunate case where the life of an innocent Indian is at risk.
2. Pakistan’s story is solely based on rhetoric and not facts. Jadhav’s continued custody without providing consular access should be declared unlawful. No credible evidence was provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in an act of terrorism. Jadhav’s purported confession clearly appeared to be coerced.
3. There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this (confession) as a propaganda tool. Pakistan has disrespected the Vienna Convention.
4. Pakistan was bound to grant consular access without delay. India sent 13 reminders to Pakistan for consular access to Jadhav but no reply was received. India sought the certified copy of charge sheet, evidence, military court judgement and summary of the copy of the judgement, but no reply was received. Pakistan was embarrassed to disclose charges against Jadhav.
5. Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Kulbhushan Jadhav from Balochistan after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that the Indian national was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests.
6. Article 36 of the Vienna Convention says that a country must be informed about the detention of its citizens but Pakistan did not inform India about Jadhav’s arrest. With no consular access, India has no information on what happened to Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan.
7. Pakistan should have provided a substantial explanation for why it needed three months for providing consular access upon which it could have claimed that it has complied with a treaty obligation.
8. Pakistan did not uphold Article 36 of the Vienna Convention that states consular access applies all nationals regardless of espionage claims in Jadhav’s case. This quite plainly is an egregious violation of Pakistan’s obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.
9. Pakistan offered to allow Jadhav’s family to visit him. The terms were agreed and the meeting was held on December 25, 2017. But, India was dismayed at the manner in which the meeting was conducted.
10. Pakistan didn’t send any details of the probe conducted by its investigation team before informing India about the death sentence handed over to Jadhav. He was not given any lawyer during his trial by the Pakistani military court either. Serious charges need strict adherence to due process.
Pakistan will present its side in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case tomorrow (Tuesday).
(With inputs from PTI)