The International Court of Justice will commence public hearings of the former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case on Monday. Jadhav is on death row in Islamabad after Pakistan charged him with spying for Indian intelligence agencies in 2016.
The hearings come amid renewed tension between India and Pakistan after a terror attack that killed 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. India has blamed Pakistan for the attack, but Islamabad has denied the charge.
Last week, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said India would make its case against Pakistan. “Whatever we have to do, we will do at the court,” Kumar said.
Earlier in February, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said it has all the evidence to prove that Jadhav had indulged in sabotage activities against Pakistan.
After Jadhav was sentenced to death, India moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict in May 2017. The court stayed his execution, but a final verdict is pending.
In October last year, the International Court of Justice had said it will hold hearings from February 18 to February 21 in the Peace Palace at The Hague in the Netherlands, the seat of the court. India, represented by Harish Salve, will argue its case from 10 am to 1 pm (2.30 pm to 5.30 pm Indian time) on February 18, and Pakistan will present its case on February 19 at the same time. On February 20, India will kick off the second round of oral arguments, and Pakistan will respond on February 21.
The hearings will be streamed live online.
India has demanded consular access to Jadhav under the rules of the Vienna Convention – an international treaty on consular relations between independent states – but Pakistan has rejected the request repeatedly.