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India 'exposes' Pak inconsistency on Jadhav: "Life of an innocent Indian is at stake"


The Hague (The Netherlands),  India on Monday sought to expose 'inconsistencies' in Pakistan stance and its so called trial process on the much talked about Kulbhushan Jadhav case and made a strong argument that Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared 'unlawful'. Initiating the argument at the ICJ, government of India's agent - a senior MEA official Deepak Mittal and senior counsel Harish Salve - said "life of an innocent Indian is at stake" in the case. "Pakistan has steadfastly refused to say in which specific case Jadhav stands convicted (by its military court)," Mr Salve told the court. The hearing on the case at the ICJ as per a timetable for the public hearing in the case will be held from Monday to February 21. "India was dismayed at the manner the meeting of Jadhav and his mother and his wife (in December 2017) was conducted," the counsel said. Mr Salve told the ICJ that Pakistan has been using the episode for its 'propaganda' value when it is under attack for extending support to terrorism. "There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool," he said. "It is an egregious violation of the Vienna Convention," Mr Salve said. "Pakistan was bound to grant consular access....," he asserted and added even Jadhav was not informed of his right to consular access. Denial of 'consular access' is breach of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. India had sent 13 reminders but these were disallowed. "India has no proper information or paper on what happened (on the case) in Pakistan," he said. Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage' in April 2017 but after Indian government moved the international court, the 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18, 2017 had given a stay order and 'restrained' Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. Mr Salve said, India provided documents to Pakistan to establish Kulbhushan Jadhav's identity and also maintained that any trial by the military court in Pakistan does not satisfy procedures of the ICJ. "In June, 2017, India responded to the request for assistance in investigation and pointed that not only Jadhav had been denied consular access but no credible evidence has been provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in any act of terrorism," Mr Salve said. He argued there ought to basic rules between 'civilisational nations' and unnecessary weightage cannot be given to 'unilateral allegations'. Mr Salve maintained - "Jadhav's purported confession clearly appears to be coaxed. India has also reminded Pakistan that it's government has not ratified SAARC convention on legal assistance in criminal matters".

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