India submits to ICJ its reply in Kulbhushan Jadhav case

Pak refuses 16 requests for consular access

Kulbhushan Jadhav is facing the death row in Pakistan for allegations of espionage. PTI file photo.

India on Tuesday submitted to the International Court of Justice its reply to Pakistan's counter-plea in the case of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in the neighbouring country.

India replied to the counter-memorial Pakistan had submitted to the ICJ on December 13, 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release. The ICJ,  based in The Hague, had earlier this year set April 17 deadline for India to submit its reply.

The ICJ will start hearing the case after receiving Pakistan's written response to India's reply. Pakistan has time until July 17 to file its response.

Jadhav has been in the custody of Pakistan Army since March 2016. Islamabad turned down a repeated request by New Delhi to grant consular access to him. He was awarded death sentence by a military court in Pakistan in April 2017 for allegedly working for India's external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and being involved with espionage and sabotage in the neighbouring country.

Consular access

New Delhi on May 8 moved the ICJ after waiting for 11 days for Islamabad to respond to its 16th request for granting the High Commission of India in Pakistan “consular access” to Jadhav.

The ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, on May 18 asked Islamabad not to execute the death sentence awarded to Jadhav till it decided on India's plea.

India had on September 13 last year submitted its initial pleadings to the ICJ on its plaint against Pakistan. Pakistan had on December 13 submitted its response to the memorial submitted by India.

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