India on Monday, during the trail of Kulbhushan Jadhav at International Court of Justice asked for immediate suspension of Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ was over.
In a major setback to Pakistan’s hope of executing Indian so-called spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the International Court of Justice in The Hague denied their legal team permission to air the six-minute so-called video confession.
Pakistan’s legal team was relying heavily on the confessional video to tell the 11 judges of the ICJ that Jadhav had confessed he was a spy and to buttress their claim, he was involved in terror and espionage in Balochistan.
Pakistan could not even complete its stipulated 90 minutes allocated to present its case in response to India seeking ICJ’s urgent intervention to save Jadhav from the gallows following a sham trial in a military court in Pakistan.
Earlier in the day, Harish Salve, spearheaded India’s legal charge seeking not just an urgent intervention from the ICJ to save Jadhav from the gallows but also the annulment of the sham trial in a Pakistani court.
In his appeal, Salve told the court to give suitable directions to Pakistan to ensure that during the judgement, Jadhav is not executed in Pakistan.
“The execution of the death sentence cannot be done while this court is hearing the appeal. Else, it will be a violation of the Vienna Convention,” said Salve.
India urged the court to pass directions so that Pakistan takes no action that might prejudice the rights of India and Jadhav till a decision is taken by the international court.
“Jadhav has not got the right to get proper legal assistance and the right to consular access. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a decision is passed,” joint secretary in the MEA, Deepak Mittal, told the court.
Pakistan completed its presentation in under 50 minutes, while India forcefully argued the matter for the stipulated 90 minutes and some more as granted by the court.
Government sources also countered Pakistan’s claims in court that India had not clarified on Jadhav’s passport, nationality and kept silent for a year since Pakistan sought assistance with the investigations.
“Pakistan is being very economical with the truth. India was informed more than three weeks after Jadhav’s arrest. India immediately sought consular access to Jadhav. For one year, India made not one or two but 16 attempts to get the consular access,” sources said.
“It is a well-documented fact. India accepted on day one Jadhav was an Indian national so there was no ambiguity about his nationality. As far as the cover page of the passport is concerned, India sought consular access to the detained citizen to ascertain facts,” sources said.
Indian officials maintain, New Delhi had approached the ICJ not on the merits of the case but on two basic issues -the Vienna Convention on Consular Access – not being adhered to and human rights of Jadhav not being respected by Pakistan.
The Indian camp sounds fairly confident of a favourable judgement which the president of the ICJ said would be delivered as soon as possible in an open hearing.
Sources hope the judgement will be delivered within a week to 10 days and bring some relief to Jadhav whose fate hangs in balance.