India delivered its final arguments in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on Wednesday evening, the third day of the hearing. Pakistan is expected to respond on Thursday from 9 pm. The hearings are being held under the presidency of Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.
Jadhav is on death row in Pakistan after being charged with spying for India in 2016. India had moved the international court against the death sentence in May 2017, after which his execution was stayed.
On Monday, the first day of the hearings, India had sought Jadhav’s release from a Pakistani prison. On Tuesday, Pakistan presented its arguments and claimed India was seeking relief for a terrorist, and urged the court to dismiss the case.
Here are the updates from the hearing:
9.05 pm: The court adjourns hearing for Wednesday. Sitting will reconvene on Thursday at 9 pm Indian time when Pakistan will make its second round of oral submissions.
9.01 pm: The international court had on Tuesday rejected Pakistan’s request to replace Gilani.
8.58 pm: ICJ President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf then refers to Pakistan’s request to replace ad-hoc Pakistani judge Tassaduq Hussain Gilani, who had suffered a cardiac arrest on the first day of hearings. “Judge ad-hoc Gilani was given case files and participated in all court deliberations before these hearings,” he says. “He will receive all transcripts of oral proceedings. He will continue to participate.”
8.55 pm: Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs Deepak Mittal now makes the statement and reads out Jadhav’s relief sought by India.
8.50 pm: Kulbhushan Jadhav has become a pawn in Pakistan tool to divert international scrutiny from itself, Salve says. The Indian counsel then refers to the terror attack in Pulwama on February 14 that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel.
“The attack received universal condemnation,” he says.
He also refers to the terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, in which more than 170 people were killed.
8.48 pm: “When we talk of review, I would like to draw your attention in stark contrast in [Ajmal] Kasab case,” Salve says. “The Supreme Court in India had held that since it is a case of death sentence we may examine the materials on record first hand. This is called a review.”
8.43 pm: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has suppressed operation of the Peshawar High Court cited by Pakistan, says Salve.
8.33 pm: The International Commission of Jurists and European Parliament has criticised the functioning of Pakistan’s military courts, Salve says. “Pakistan has defended them by relying on reports by military experts,” he adds. “Judicial Review by Pakistan courts has a narrow ambit, they have not interfered with military court decisions many times.”
8.22 pm: Pakistan has nothing beyond an extracted “confession”, says Harish Salve. He also says that Pakistan’s case against Jadhav on the question of passport is yet to be investigated by India.
Watch the hearings LIVE here.
8.19 pm: Salve refers to news articles on the matter. “Pakistan claims to have clinching evidence on the basis of articles in the Indian press,” Salve says. “The story contradicts facts in Pakistan’s FIR.”
8.17 pm: India has repeatedly asked Pakistan for a copy of the judgement that convicted Jadhav, the charges against him and the evidence, says Salve. But Pakistan has not yet shared it. “There would be no threat to security of Pakistan if they share these documents,” he adds.
8.13 pm: “Pakistan had relied on Avena case, but this goes against them,” Salve says, according to Bar and Bench. “According to the case, once there is a probability that a detainee is a foreign national, consular access must be granted.”
8.10 pm: “If Pakistan dearly believes his confession, why do they doubt his nationality,” asks Salve. The confession claims Jadhav was an Indian RAW officer. Salve adds that if Jadhav had actually been involved in subversive activities, he would have been tried for espionage irrespective of whether or not he had an Indian passport.
8.05 pm: The first issue I would like to address is the abuse of process that Pakistan has alleged against India, says Salve.
Responding to Pakistan’s questions about Jadhav’s nationality, Salve says Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer, which is proof of his nationality. “Unlike Pakistan India has never needed to deny nationality of its nationals,” Salve says. “Indian nationals are not the kind whose nationality needs to be denied.”
8 pm: Salve claims Pakistan has made three attempts to derail proceedings in the International Court of Justice, all of which have failed. “Pakistan attempted to produce video of Jadhav’s purported confession on February 18, before the oral hearings,” says Salve. “The court had declined to take the video on record. Pakistan attempted to bring evidence which was declined through oral submissions.”
7.57 pm: “This court doesn’t need experts to help it decide whether Military Courts in Pakistan are due process compliant,” Salve says, according to Bar and Bench. “Pakistan has mischaracterised India’s reading of the report on Military Courts as an attempt to mislead the court.”
7.54 pm: “As an old saying goes ‘When you are strong on law you hammer the law, when you are strong on facts you hammer the facts and when you are strong on neither you hammer the table’,” Salve says. “Bereft of a case, Pakistan has hammered the proverbial table.”
7.50 pm: India believes it has a strong case and “so we have hammered the facts and the law”, says Salve.
7.47 pm: “India takes exception to being insulted in an international court,” says Salve. He adds that words such as shameless, arrogant, disgraceful and nonsensical were used several times in Pakistan’s memorial.
7.45 pm: India’s counsel Harish Salve begins arguments.
7.15 pm: The hearing is expected to begin around 7.30 pm Indian time.
7 pm: The International Court of Justice in the Hague had on Tuesday rejected Pakistan’s request to replace an ad-hoc Pakistani judge who had suffered a cardiac arrest on the first day of hearings.
6.50 pm: On the second day of hearings on Tuesday, Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan in the International Court of Justice claimed that Kulbhushan Jadhav had carried out bombings, targetted operations, kidnapping and unlawful activities to create anarchy in Pakistan. “India seeks relief for a terrorist in its petition to the ICJ,” Khan had said.
Another Pakistani lawyer, Khanwar Qureshi, accused India of using the UN court for “political theatre”. “This case is not about consular access,” said Qureshi. “It is about political theatre, grandstanding. It is an impermissible use of the court.” He concludes his arguments and asks the court to dismiss the case.
6.45 pm: Arguing India’s case on Monday, counsel Harish Salve said Pakistan has no substantive defence in the matter and that the country has violated the Vienna Convention. He demanded that Jadhav’s continued custody without consular access be declared unlawful.
Salve claimed that Jadhav had not been given a lawyer and his purported confession appeared to be coaxed. He sought Jadhav’s release and the annulment of his conviction.
6.40 pm: Last week, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said: “Whatever we have to do, we will do at the court.”
6.30 pm: Jadhav is on death row in Pakistan after being charged with spying for India in 2016. 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.