Weeks before the Nuclear Security Summit, the government reminded the world that India does not have any “legal obligation” to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“Government believes that given our consistent and principled position on the NPT, to which India is not a party, its provisions cannot be extended to India as a legal obligation,” a diplomatic source told The Hindu . This was in response to a question on the case that Marshall Islands from the Pacific Ocean region has lodged at the International Court of Justice against all the major nuclear states, including India, for possessing nuclear weapons and for not supporting a global test ban pact.Legal team at ICJ
India has sent a legal team to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, where Marshall Islands has at present instituted proceedings against India, “contending breach of customary law obligations following from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
Article VI of the NPT demands that each member state of the NPT undertake “negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
India has already made a written presentation to the ICJ reiterating that Marshall Islands’ argument regarding the obligations flowing from Article VI of the NPT is not valid before India which is not a signatory to the NPT. “India has reiterated its position on global nuclear disarmament,” an official told The Hindu. India, the official said, continued to support non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament.
The case from the Marshall Islands has been on the agenda of the ICJ since the tiny archipelago in the Pacific Ocean lodged the case in 2014 seeking greater international attention to the issue of comprehensive test ban treaty. Ever since, Marshall Islands’ campaign has acquired stronger support, especially since it suffered due to the nuclear tests conducted in its territory by the U.S.