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India, Pakistan to argue on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case in International Court of Justice today

The public hearing will begin at 10 am (local time), and both sides will get around 90 minutes each to present their cases.

India and Pakistan will present their arguments before the International Court of Justice in The Hague on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Monday. India will seek to defend the former Indian Navy officer, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and other criminal activities.

The public hearing will begin at 10 am (local time), and both sides will get around 90 minutes each to present their cases. The hearings will be streamed live and on demand on the court’s website as well as on UN Web TV, the United Nations’ online television channel.

India had obtained a stay order on Jadhav’s execution from the ICJ on May 9. ICJ President Judge Ronny Abraham had then written to the Pakistani government: “In my capacity as president of the court...I call upon Your Excellency’s Government, pending the court’s decision on [India’s] request for the indication of provisional measures, to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make on this request to have its appropriate effects.”

The case:

Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani officials on March 3 last year. He was accused of spying for Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, and aiding separatist elements in restive Balochistan. Pakistan had later released a video which showed Jadhav allegedly confessing to his crimes. India has questioned not only the authenticity of the video but has also accused Pakistan of torturing Jadhav into “confessing”.

While the Pakistan Army had claimed Jadhav had been arrested in Saravan at the Iran-Pakistan border, Baloch leader Sarfaraz Bugti said he was picked up from Chaman in Balochistan. India, meanwhile, alleged he was kidnapped by Pakistani forces while in Iran on a business engagement.

Pakistan has denied India consular access to Jadhav 16 times, which New Delhi had said was a violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention of Consular Relations. In April, India had also sought visas for Jadhav’s parents and consular access to him, but the request was denied. The Centre had also sought Jadhav’s health certificate, a copy of the death sentence and the chargesheet filed against him from Pakistan. These, too, were not granted.

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