POLITICS

India Moved ICJ As Kulbhushan Jadhav's Life Is Under Threat: Ministry Of External Affairs

Islamabad has not responded to India's request for Jadhav's case papers.

10/05/2017 8:34 PM IST | Updated 10/05/2017 8:35 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- India moving the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue was a "carefully considered decision" as the retired Indian Navy officer was in illegal detention in Pakistan and his life was under threat, the External Affairs Ministry said today.

Briefing reporters on the reasons why India approached the ICJ, which yesterday stayed Jadhav's execution, MEA Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said consular access to him was denied by Pakistan despite 16 requests and this was in contravention of the Vienna Convention.

Islamabad has not responded to India's request for Jadhav's case papers, including charge sheet as also there is no information on the status of an appeal by Jadhav's family against the order of a Pakistan military court which sentenced him to death on charges of "spying", Baglay added.

Asserting that in such circumstances India had no option but to move the ICJ to protect the "son of India's" life, he said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote to Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz on April 27 requesting visa for Jadhav's family.

As per the information with the government, the family has been granted visa, he added.

Noting that India has been informed by the ICJ that an action has been initiated on the "provisional measures" sought by New Delhi, Baglay said now there is "legal juridical procedure" that will be followed.

India has taken this course of action after "carefully considered decision" as the life of an Indian citizen is under threat, the spokesperson added.

He also said former Solicitor General Harish Salve, who is representing India in the ICJ in the case, has mentioned that "address to the court is likely to be in next few days".

On whether the "provisional measures" granted by the ICJ including a halt to Jadhav's execution was binding on Pakistan, Baglay referred to the clauses in ICJ rules which said, "a request for the indication of provisional measures shall have priority over all other cases".

The ICJ rules also make it clear that "pending the meeting of the court, the President may call upon the parties to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects."

Baglay reiterated that the government has no information about the location of Jadhav in Pakistan and also his health condition.

The ICJ stayed Jadhav's execution after India initiated proceedings against Pakistan, accusing it of "egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations" in the matter of his detention and trial.

"In my capacity as president of the court,... I call upon Your Excellency's government, pending the court's decision on the request for the indication of provisional measures to act in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on this request to have its appropriate effects," the ICJ president wrote to Pakistan prime minister.

India had submitted that it has information that Jadhav was "kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy and was then shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan" on March 3, 2016, and that the Indian authorities were notified of that arrest on March 25, 2016, a ICJ press release had said yesterday.

According to the applicant, on January 23, Pakistan requested assistance in the investigation of Jadhav's alleged "involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan" and, by a Note Verbale of 21 March 2017, informed India that "consular access [to Jadhav would] be considered in the light of the Indian side s response to Pakistan s request for assistance in the investigation process", it said.

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