The Hague, May 15: India and Pakistan are fighting each other in the International Court of Justice for the first time in 18 years. The bone of contention this time is the death sentence announced to former Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav, on trumped-up charges of espionage. Both India and Pakistan will get 90 minutes to present their cases. Harish Salve would represent Indian the tribunal.
India is arguing that Pakistan’s announcement of the death sentence was in violation of Vienna convention on consular relations. India was denied consular access 16 times by Pakistan, which would be the main argument of Harish Salve. India would argue that Pakistan didn’t even inform about Jadhav’s arrest, which is a clear violation of Vienna convention. India would also tell the ICJ that Kulbhushan Jadhav was not given a fair trial and the due process of law by Pakistan. He was not given a proper trial and his trial in the military court was completed in total secrecy. India alleged that Pakistan didn’t conduct his trial in a civilian court as he it didn’t have enough evidence against the Indian business.(Also read: India gets 90 minutes to save Kulbushan Jadhav at ICJ; all you need to know)
India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over this issue. While Pakistan had claimed that Jadhav was involved in subversive activities and was arrested in restive Balochistan, India has countered saying that he was just a businessman and was abducted from Iran. A German diplomat had also backed India’s claims, saying he was kidnapped by terrorists in Iran and sold to Pakistan. Pakistan PM’s foreign adviser, Sartaj Aziz, also said that Pakistan had no evidence against Jadhav. He, however, changed his position later.
What is International Court of Justice?
The ICJ is the judicial wing of the United Nations. It was established in June, 1945. It is situated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. It consists 15 judges who are elected by the UN Assembly and the Security Council for 9 years. After their elections, the judges functions solely as officers of the Court and not as representatives of their respective countries. All the members if the United Nations automatically come in its jurisdiction. (Also read: Kulbushan Jadhav case: What is ICJ and what happened when India-Pakistan last clashed in the tribunal)
Major points in the case
- March 3, 2016: Jadhav was arrested and was accused spying for India’s RAW.
- March 29, 2016: Pakistan produces a video which shows him “confessing” his crimes. India said that it was highly doctored. Pakistan charged him with terrorism.
- Pakistan’s foreign advisor, Sartaz Aziz, said Pakistan had no evidence against Jadhav. On March 7, 2017, he changed his stance.
- April 4, 2017: Jadhav sentenced to death by an army court.
- May 8, 2017: India moves ICJ.
- May 9, 2017: India secures stay order on his execution.
- Pakistan has denied counsular access 16 times.