Public Hearings In Kulbhushan Jadhav Case Amid Indo-Pak Tensions


New Delhi: Amid fresh tensions between India and Pakistan after Pulwama terror attack, top legal eagles of the two countries will present their arguments in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague today (February 18) during four days of public hearings.

This will be the first time India and Pakistan will confront each other after the deadliest terror attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama by the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) where 40 CRPF were killed on February 14.

Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May the same year against the verdict.

A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

The public hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case has been scheduled at the ICJ from February 18 to February 21. India will first present its arguments on February 18 while Pakistan will make its submissions the next day on February 19. India will make its counter argument in its reply on the February 20 while Pakistan will make its closing submissions on February 21.

English Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi QC, who also drafted the written pleading, will present Pakistan’s case while Harish Salve will present the Indian side of the case. Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan will lead Pakistan’s delegation.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had earlier declined to go into the details of India’s arguments to be presented in the ICJ hearing on Monday (February 18).

“The oral proceedings on the International Court of Justice are commencing on February 18. India will present its case before the court. Since the matter is subjudice it is not appropriate for me to state our position in public. Whatever we have to do, we will do at the court,” he said in response to a question.

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.

India had approached the ICJ for “egregious” violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in Jadhav’s case.