India, Pak to Face off in ICJ Over Kulbhushan Jadhav's Case

India, Pak to Face off in ICJ Over Kulbhushan Jadhav's Case

India, Pak to Face off in ICJ Over Kulbhushan Jadhav's Case

The hearings at the United Nations court, formally known as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), revolve around the case of Jadhav, a former Indian navy commander who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2016 and convicted of spying. Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

V. D. Sharma and Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretaries, Indian Ministry of External Affairs are seen at the International Court of Justice during the final hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in The Hague, the Netherlands, February 18, 2019.

The ICJ is the U.N.'s highest court, and its decisions are binding - though it has no power to enforce them and they have been ignored in rare instances.

The refusal to shake hands by the senior Indian government officials is being interpreted as a sign of diplomatic snub to Pakistan following the 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which a terrorist from the Pak-sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) attacked a CRPF convoy killing 44 troopers.

#WATCH: Harish Salve representing India & Kulbhushan Jadhav in ICJ says, "Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful". Officials in Islamabad said ahead of the hearing that India was trying to use the court meant to resolve worldwide disputes as a criminal appeals court. The basis on which India is pursuing the case are: "First issue relates to construction of the Vienna Convention and consular access was not granted", Salve said, accusing Pakistan of raising issues that have no relevance to the case.

A former Solicitor General of India, he was presenting his arguments after India and Pakistan filed memorials and counter-memorials in the case in which the ICJ had in May 2017 stayed Jadhav's execution.

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Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, the Pakistani judge who was to be sworn in as adhoc judge for the Jadhav case, has taken ill and won't be sitting for the hearing on Monday. On March 30, 2016, India reminded Pakistan of its request of consular access (for Jadhav) and received no reply. "India will present its case before the court". The Pakistani delegation is led by the Attorney General, Anwar Mansoor Khan, with Khawar Qureshi as counsel.

It has also raised questions regarding the authenticity of Indian passport of Jadhav who had travelled 17 times to India with his cover name as Hussein Mubarik Patel. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

India today accused Pakistan of an "egregious" breach of Jadhav's rights.

In its submission to the ICJ, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

"Pakistan offered to allow Jadhav's family to visit him, the terms were agreed and the meeting was held on December 25, 2017".

India and Pakistan are now involved in a standoff over the issue of Jadhav and the bombing of a CRPF convoy last week by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, which killed 40 security personnel.

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