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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 06 April 2020 2.43 PM IST

India asks ICJ to declare Jadhav's trial in Pakistan 'unlawful'

kulbhushan-jadhav

THE HAGUE: India on Monday said the trial of its national Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court "hopelessly failed" to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process and requested the International Court of Justice to declare it "unlawful".

India's plea came as the top UN court began a four-day public hearing in the case of Jadhav, 48, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage.

India, during the first day of the hearing, based its case on two broad issues -- breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution.

"It is an unfortunate case where the life of an innocent Indian is at risk," ex-solicitor general Harish Salve, who was representing India, said.

"Pakistan's story is solely based on rhetoric and not facts," he said, adding that Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful.

Jadhav's trial by a Pakistani military court "hopelessly failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process", Salve said.

No "credible evidence" was provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in any act of terrorism and Jadhav's purported confession clearly appeared to be "coerced", Salve said.

"There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool. Pakistan was bound to grant consular access without delay," Salve said.

"Pakistan used confession document as propaganda. Pakistan has disrespected the Vienna Convention," Salve said.

He said India had sent 13 reminders to Pakistan for consular access to Jadhav, but Islamabad is yet to accede.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav's sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

During the hearing, Salve said Pakistan filed the FIR almost a month after the arrest of Jadhav.

"In April 2016 and FIR was registered against Jadhav. In May 2016, Jadhav was interrogated, and India sent reminders for consular access across May, June, and July," Salve says.

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