Jadhav case: Hope justice in the form of provisional measures will be given, says Harish Salve

As the ICJ began hearing Mr. Jadhav’s case, India argued that human rights treated as “basics” all over had been thrown to the wind by Pakistan.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:57 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2017 03:35 pm IST - The Hague

Delegations of India, left, and Pakistan, right, wait for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on Monday

Delegations of India, left, and Pakistan, right, wait for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on Monday

Following the presentation of India’s arguments to a panel of 11 judges at the International Court of Justice at The Hague on the case of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav , attention will soon turn to Pakistan’s case which will be made before the court at 3pm local time (6.30 pm Indian time), and which will last for 90 minutes.


The public hearings are being held on India’s request for provisional measures, which were made on an urgent basis until the court decides on the substance of the case. The notice for the hearing was one of the shortest in the history of the court. The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Deepak Mittal, Jt Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran), MEA, with Dr. V.D. Sharma, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs as co-agent, and Mr. Harish Salve as Counsel.


Opening the arguments for India - during a 90 minute session on Monday morning - Mr. Mittal was scathing about the “miscarriage of justice” and the “concocted charges” on which Mr. Jadhav had been arrested and sentenced, and described his trial  in Pakistan as “farcical.” He warned that without provisional measures requested by India, Pakistan would executive Mr. Jadhav before the court could consider the merits of India’s claim, doing “irreparable damage” to the rights of India and Mr. Salve.


India had made repeated requests for assistance on consular access, which had been denied and had been eventually told that access would only be given in light of India’s cooperation in the Pakistani investigation. Jadhav’s mother had submitted an appeal but without access to the details of the case and the charge sheet, this was an “act of desperation by a grieving parent.” The family’s application for a visa to travel to Pakistan had to date received no response.


However, it fell to Harish Salve, India’s Counsel, to deliver the details of India’s case. “The situation we find ourselves in is grave and it is urgent and is the reason we have sought the indulgence of this court for a hearing on the indication of provisional measures,” he said as he pointed to a string of past cases heard by the court to establish its jurisdiction in this area, and past precedents on the issue of provisional measures.


He accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention,” right from the time of Mr. Jadhav’s arrest in March 2016.  He described as “facetious” a May 12 communication from Pakistan that had outlined the legal avenues open to Mr. Jadhav, noting that it had failed to provide an assurance that the sentence would not be carried out


Speaking following the hearing Mr. Salve expressed his hope that “justice” in the form of provisional measures would be delivered following the hearings, and that India was “here in the hope” that it would lead to annulment of the death sentence.

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