Kulbhushan Jadhav ICJ hearing day 3 | As it happened

Pakistan, on day two of the hearing, asked that India’s application to have the ICJ order Kulbhushan Jadhav’s release be dismissed as inadmissible.

Updated - February 20, 2019 10:36 pm IST

Published - February 20, 2019 02:20 pm IST

Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Monday began a four-day public hearing of the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

India moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the “farcical trial” by the military court against 48-year-old Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer.

The first day of oral arguments concluded with India accusing Pakistan of “knowingly, wilfully and brazenly” flouting the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Read Day 1's arguments here.

Pakistan, on day two of the hearing, asked that India’s application to have the ICJ order Kulbhushan Jadhav’s release be dismissed as inadmissible.

Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi argued on Tuesday in a heated, and often personal presentation that repeatedly referenced Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused India of engaging in “political theatre,” “grandstanding,” and presenting its case in “bad faith.”

Read Day 2's arguments here.

Here are the live updates:

9 :00 p.m.

President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf clears the air on appointment of ad-hoc judge for Pakistan. He says the transcripts will be made available to Justice Jilani and he will continue to participate.

"At this moment, we wish him a speedy recovery," the President says ruling out a replacement for Justice Jilani. He also says further decision could be made if necessary in due course.

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani was the ad-hoc judge chosen by Pakistan. He was rushed to the hospital on the first day of hearing after complaints of breathlessness. He is undergoing treatment for cardiac ailment now.

8:50 p.m.

Harish Salve fires salvo against Pakistan. He accuses the country of harbouring terrorists in its soil. Civilians are tried in military courts and promptly given punishments, but cases of heinous crimes are lying in courts. Even countries like Iran have said terror strikes in their land were carried out by those from Pakistan.

The time has come for this Court to make Article 36 a potent weapon for protection of human rights, Harish Salve says as his concluding remark.

India makes its final submission. Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs, Deepak Mittal, reads out relief sought by India.

8:45 p.m.

Harish Salve points out that in many countries a military court cannot try a civilian. He also recalls how Peshawar High Court raised the same question and Pakistan has appealed against it in their Supreme Court.

Domestic law is never a defence against a violation of international law, he says.

Mr. Salve draws the ICJ's attention to the Kasab case. Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack was sentenced to death by a special court. Mr. Salve points out, how the Indian Supreme Court, carefully reviewed the charges before upholding the death penalty. Kasab was a Pakistan national. "This is called review," he says.

8:30 p.m.

Mr. Salve accuses Pakistan of “knowingly, wilfully and brazenly” flouting Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access, and attacks the “farcical” military trial of Jadhav who was found guilty and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017.

He calls on the court to annul the verdict of the military court.

8:20 p.m.

In Tuesday's arguments, Pakistan quoted two articles published in Indian magazines to prove their point. Harish Salve, India's counsel, quotes the same articles and says Jadhav was not arrested in Iran-Pakistan border town Sarawan as claimed by Pakistan.

8:10 p.m.

During the second round of public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, India strongly objects to the abusive language of Pakistan’s counsel. Harish Salve, on behalf of India, reiterates that Pakistan never allowed consular access to Jadhav.

Countering Pakistan's claims that they were unsure of Jadhav's nationality as the reason for denying consular access, Mr. Salve says India has never said Jadhav wasn't an Indian national.

If Pakistan believes Jadhav's confession, why are they doubting his nationality? he asks.

Mr. Salve accepts that Jadhav did carry a fake passport, which is a crime in India too. But does that warrant a dealth penalty? he asks. Even under the laws of Pakistan, possessing a fake passport doesn't warrant a death penalty, he argues.

Just because he carries such a passport, it doesn't mean he was there to carry out terror activities, Mr. Salve says.

8.00 p.m.


Oral arguments set to continue

Both India and Pakistan will get an hour-and-a-half to present their final arguments. "Second round must not be a repetition of the first," said Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf on Tuesday, at the conclusion of the hearing on Day 2.


7.50 p.m.

Jadhav's arrest and sentencing

Jadhav, a former naval officer, was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April 2017 over allegations of espionage and abetting terror, after three-and-a-half months of trial.

In May that year, India filed an application to launch proceedings against Pakistan for “egregious violations” of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, accusing Pakistan of failing to comply with its obligations under Article 36 of that convention. It argued that Pakistan had failed to inform Jadhav of his rights and had denied him consular access, despite repeated requests for this to happen.

India also applied for provisional measures to stay the execution of Jadhav, arguing that without such a measure it feared that he could be executed before the full case could be heard.



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