Jadhav case: India repeats old rhetoric at ICJ


–New Delhi opposes death penalty to spy citing it contrary to fundamental rights

–Indian counsel argues against decision made by Pakistan’s military court for trying a civilian

–Pakistan to respond to Indian arguments in International Court of Justice on Tuesday

–Foreign Office says India failed to justify Jadhav’s visits to Delhi under alias Hussein Mubarik Patel

THE HAGUE: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Monday adjourned hearing of a case pertaining to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav after the Indian side presented its arguments in the case.

Jadhav, an on-duty Indian navy officer working for the Indian covert agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), was captured from Balochistan in March 2016. He later confessed to his association with RAW, and involvement in espionage and fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.

The Indian spy was tried in a Pakistani military court, which sentenced him to death in April 2017 for espionage and subversive activities.

As the four-day public hearing initiated Monday, India made its legal submissions.

A 15-member panel of ICJ judges heard the arguments from Joint Secretary of Indian External Affairs Ministry Deepak Mittal at the Peace Palace – the seat of the court, from  2 pm to 5 pm Pakistan Standard Time (PST).

The case proceedings were shown live from the courtroom and shared by the ICJ’s website for a real-time update of the viewers worldwide.

India’s Counsel Advocate Harish Salve, who had also earlier represented the country in the same case, presented his statement before the court, which mostly appeared to be based on repetition of points raised in previous proceedings.

Salve highlighted the issues including denial of consular access by Pakistan and its breach of Article 36 (1)(b) of the Vienna Convention – the similar arguments that India came up with during maiden statement of objections.

He opposed the death penalty announced by Pakistan, citing it contrary to the fundamental rights and also argued against the decision made by Pakistan’s military court for trying a civilian.

On Pakistan’s earlier objection on India facilitating Jadhav’s 17 times travel on his passport with the cover name Hussein Mubarik Patel, the Indian counsel merely termed it “untrue” without presenting any supporting facts.

Pakistan’s Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan and South Asia Director General Dr Mohammad Faisal were present in the courtroom as agent and co-agent, respectively.

Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, who was due to sit in the panel as Judge Ad hoc along with ICJ’s regular judges, could not continue with the hearing for being unwell and was immediately shifted to hospital.

The court adjourned the proceedings till Tuesday 2-5 pm (PST) where English Queen’s Counsel Barrister Khawar Qureshi will present the arguments from Pakistan side.

Pakistan has maintained that responsibility to punish terrorists lay with the states and it is beyond the jurisdiction of ICJ to hear this case.

The hearing in the ICJ will continue until Feb 21. Pakistan will present evidence pertaining to Jadhav’s involvement in subversive activities on Tuesday.

New Delhi will again be given a chance to present its stance on Feb 20, while Pakistan will give final arguments in the case on Feb 21.

According to reports, India has not provided evidence regarding Jadhav’s retirement.

“India did not give a satisfactory response to a question on the passport issued in Hussain Mubarak Patel’s name,” reports quoted a senior official as saying.

It is expected that the ICJ decision will be delivered by summer this year.



Separately, the Foreign Office (FO) said India couldn’t submit any new statement before the ICJ in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case or come up with significant justification regarding his passport.

“India failed to tell the court about Jadhav’s arrival in Pakistan and the reason behind it,” FO spokesperson said, adding that India even failed to explain how Jadhav managed to get a passport and travel to Delhi at least 17 times.

“India also failed in putting up justifiable arguments on Jadhav’s retirement date,” the spokesperson said.

He added that the neighbouring country also didn’t furnish any pension details of the spy if he was actually retired [from the Indian Navy].