A four day public hearing on Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, began today (18 February) at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague, Netherlands, reports Hindustan Times.
Jadhav is a former Indian Navy official currently jailed in Pakistan over charges of spying.
Beginning its arguments in the case, India said that the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistan court was farcical. Harish Salve, who is the Indian counsel, said that India was denied consular access to Jadhav by Pakistan which is in egregious breach of the Geneva Convention.
“Pakistan has no substantive defence. Pakistan hasn’t even divulged fundamental details of the so-called offence. Issues raised by Islamabad have no relevance,” said Harish Salve at the ICJ.
Salve said that Pakistan’s story was always strong on rhetoric and weak on facts. “Beginning from 30 March 2016, India sent 13 reminders for consular access (for Kulbhushan Jadhav) on various dates but received no positive response from Pakistan,” he said.
The alleged “confession” was obtained from Kulbhushan Jadhav even before registering an FIR. Pakistan also didn’t share any details of the investigation,” Salve said.
“Even the date of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest is not known, he was not even given a lawyer,” he added.
He also said that Pakistan refused to divulge under what specific offences Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sentenced and used the case as a means of propaganda.
Salve added that article 36 of Vienna Convention requires that a country must be informed about the detention of its citizens but Pakistan didn’t inform India on Jadhav’s arrest.
Pakistan will be given a chance to make its submissions in the international court on 19 February, which will be followed by India’s response on 20 February and then final closing remarks by Pakistan on 21 February.