India attacks Pakistan at ICJ: Jadhav's confession appears to be coaxed

New Delhi, Feb 18:  A four-day public hearing in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage has begun at the ICJ.

India moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the "farcical trial" by the military court of Pakistan against 48-year-old Jadhav.

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India first approached the ICJ on May 8, 2017, for the "egregious violation" of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 by Pakistan by repeatedly denying it consular access to Jadhav.  

Harish Salve representing India and Kulbhushan Jadhav in the ICJ: It is an egregious violation of the Vienna Convention, Salve said. "Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful. There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool. Pakistan was bound to grant consular access without delay. On 30th March 2016, India reminded Pakistan of its request of consular access (for Jadhav) & received no reply. 13 reminders were sent by India on various dates.  On 19th June 2017, India responded to the request for assistance in the investigation and pointed that not only Jadhav had been denied consular access but no credible evidence have been provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in an act of terrorism. His (Jadhav's) purported confession clearly appears to be coaxed."

Hearing in Kulbhushan Jadhav case begins in ICJ:  
India's oral arguments in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice, Hague, begins.  The three-hour hearing will be split into two -- one and a half hour sessions -- preceded by the swearing-in ceremony of Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani as an ad hoc judge in the case. This will take the total number of judges hearing the case to 16, including Indias Dalveer Bhandari.

Deepak Mittal, joint secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs is Indias Agent, heading the team, with Harish Salve as Counsel. The Pakistani delegation is led by the Attorney General, Anwar Mansoor Khan, with Khawar Qureshi as counsel.

India is likely to ask the top UN court to direct Pakistan to revoke the death sentence awarded to Jadhav on allegations of espionage.

Coming soon after a terror incident in South Kashmir's Pulwama, where at least 40 security personnel lost their lives in a suicide attack apparently by Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, the hearing on Jadhav case could stoke fresh tension between the two countries.

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar refused to make any comment on the ICJ hearing in Kulbhushan Jadhav case but hinted that Indian side is prepared for the legal battle.