Senior advocate Harish Salve representing the International Court of Justice on Monday
Senior advocate Harish Salve representing the International Court of Justice on Monday

Jadhav's trial was 'opaque', Pak 'egregiously' violated Vienna Convention: India at ICJ

ANI | Updated: Feb 18, 2019 16:58 IST

The Hague (Netherlands) [India], Feb 18 (ANI): Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court in an "opaque trial" and Pakistan is in "egregious violation" of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, advocate Harish Salve told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) here while presenting the Indian case.
Salve, the former Solicitor General of India, also urged the ICJ to declare as "unlawful" the continued custody of Jadhav without consular access.
Jadhav has been accused by Pakistan of spying, a charge vehemently contested by India which says even his date of arrest is "not known".  India has maintained that Jadhav was a businessman and he was kidnapped by the Pakistani intelligence agencies from Iran.
"Jadhav had to endure trauma for three years. Pakistan abused his human rights," Salve told the court. 
"Pakistan is embarrassed to disclose the judgement in the Jadhav case, the charges against him, and the evidence. The story has always been strong on rhetoric and weak on facts," Salve told the world court.
"Pakistan did not provide a lawyer to Jadhav, as was confirmed by the Army Chief in a statement. Subsequently, Pakistan announced death after trial conducted in an opaque manner. No trial document was given to India and Pakistan ignored India's request for case paper. India moved the ICJ after Pakistan ignored 13 reminders," said the Indian lawyer.  
"Finding itself bereft of any substantive defence, Pakistan has raised issues that have no relevance to these proceedings. There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool. Pakistan was bound to grant consular access without delay," he said.
Salve continued: "Having failed in its propaganda against India is a feeble attempt to tackle global criticism on its role in cross-border terrorism, Pakistan seeks to raise issues such as India's refusal to allow it to indulge in a freewheeling inquiry into high functionaries without disclosing fundamental elements of the offences and passports it allegedly seized. It is an unfortunate case where the life of an innocent Indian is at risk."
Salve further claimed that 13 reminders were sent by India to Pakistan seeking consular access to Jadhav, none of which, he said, were responded to.
"On 30th March 2016, India reminded Pakistan of its request of consular access (for Jadhav) and received no reply. 13 reminders were sent by India on various dates," he said.
He also stated that facts seem to suggest that even Jadhav was not made aware of his right to consular access.
"Pakistan filed an FIR in the case a month after the date it (Pakistan) said that Jadhav was apprehended. The host country did not inform Jadhav of his rights. In a statement put out by the Pakistan Army Chief, it was clear that Jadhav was not provided a lawyer to fight his plea. 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 any act of terrorism," he said.
"Also, a (purported) confession of Jadhav was aired even before FIR was filed and trial resumed. His purported confession clearly appears to be coaxed. India reminded Pakistan that it's the Pakistan government which hasn't ratified the SAARC Convention on legal assistance in criminal matters," added Salve.
The senior advocate argued that despite repeated requests, no charge sheets or material from the trial court hearing has been provided to India.
The 48-year-old former naval officer was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism on April 11, 2017, following which India moved the ICJ, challenging the verdict. Subsequently, on May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.(ANI)