Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ to hold hearings next Feb

Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav's wife and mother meet him while seated across a glass partition at the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad. (PTI File Photo)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hold public hearings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case from February 18 to 21 next year at The Hague, a statement issued by the principal judicial organ of the United Nations said Wednesday.

Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India moved the ICJ in May the same year against the verdict.

A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

"The hearings will be streamed live and on demand (VOD) in English and French on the Court’s website as well as on UN Web TV, the United Nations online television channel," said the press release issued by the ICJ.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 23 gave a timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case.

Both India and Pakistan have already submitted their detailed pleas and responses in the world court.

In its written pleadings, India had accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Jadhav arguing that the convention did not say that such access would not be available to an individual arrested on espionage charges.

In response, Pakistan through its counter-memorial on December 13 told the ICJ that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 applied only to legitimate visitors and did not cover clandestine operations.

Pakistan had said that "since India did not deny that Jadhav was travelling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name, they have no case to plead."

Pakistan said that India did not explain how "a serving naval commander" was travelling under an assumed name. It also stated that "since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that he was a spy sent on a special mission".

Pakistan says its security forces arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province in March 2016 after he reportedly entered the country from Iran.

In its submission to the ICJ, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

India has been maintaining that the trial of Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan was "farcical".

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav's sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

India had approached the ICJ for "egregious" violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in Jadhav's case.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ to hold hearings next Feb

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