India on Wednesday slammed Pakistan for being “bereft of a case,” during the ongoing hearings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case before the International Court of Justice on Wednesday, while pushing to annul the execution orders of Jadhav, along with a fair trial in a civilian court and full consular access to the detained Indian national.
“Government of India requests this court to adjudge and declare that Pakistan acted in egregious breach of Article 36 of Vienna convention. India urges ICJ to annul the decision of Pakistani military court, direct a fair trial in civilian court and grant full consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav,” joint secretary of India’s Foreign Ministry, Deepak Mittal said in his final submission at the ICJ on Wednesday.
Former Solicitor General of India, Harish Salve, argued India’s side.
“India believes that we have a strong case. And so we have, sir, hammered the facts and hammered the law. As the old lawyer saying goes, when you’re strong on the law, you hammer the law, if you’re strong on the facts you hammer the facts and when you have neither on your side, you hammer the table. bereft of a case, Pakistan has hammered the proverbial table” said Salve in his opening argument.
He pushed for granting full consular access to Jadhav, outlining the Avena case, which Pakistan has relied on till now, goes against them. The Avena case puts forth that once there is a probability that a detainee is a foreign national, consular access must be granted – Pakistan failed to do this despite repeated reminders by New Delhi.
“Indian nationals are not the kind whose nationality needs to be denied,” Salve said adding that India had no need to do it unlike Pakistan, who “disowned” their nationals when the said citizens are caught in terrorist acts.
He attempted to give a detailed outline of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism at the ICJ, naming Pakistan-based terrorist organisations like Jaish-e-Mohammed which recently carried out a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama that claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel.
“There was a time when the world respected Pakistan. Today the world does not have the same respect in its present incarnation,” Salve tore into Pakistan.
He also drew attention to the abusive language used by the Pakistan counsel in the case, outlining that usage of such language should be refrained from in a court as haloed as the ICJ.
“The transcript is peppered with words such as shameless, nonsensical, laughable, breath-taking arrogance,” Salve highlighted while taking a “quick count” of the number of times these words feature in the submissions made to the memorial in reply to India.
“What Pakistan has been extremely reticent to share with the world and this court is the judgement of the court which convicted Jadhav. It is that judgement which will show the offences for which Jadhav has been charged, his connection with the offences with the role played by him, the evidence against him for participation of those offences and the basis for the conviction in relation to those specific offences,” adding that India has repeatedly asked for a copy of the judgement, the evidence against Jadhav and the grounds on which he has been convicted.
“Pakistan is shy of sharing these details,” he put forth.
“Possessing a passport does not make you party to offences, your role in those offences is what gets you a conviction,” he stated.
Salve “When we talk of review, I’d like to draw your attention in stark contrast in Kasab case. where the Supreme Court in India held that since it is a case of death sentence we may examine the materials on record first hand. This is called a review.”
He reinforced that the Vienna Convention had been violated by Pakistan in the case of Jadhav.
Pakistan will present its concluding arguments on Thursday.
The 48-year-old former naval officer was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism on April 11, 2017, following which India moved the ICJ, challenging the verdict. Subsequently, on May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.