ICJ to hold public hearing in Kulbhushan Jadhav case from February 18 to 21


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hold public hearing in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav will be held from February 18 to February 21 next year at the Hague, United Nations’ principal judicial organ said today.

The first round of oral arguments will take place on February 18, when India will argue from 10 am to 1 pm. Pakistan will put forth their first round arguments on February 19, from 10 am to 1 pm

India will kick off the second round of oral arguments on February 20, from 3 pm to 4:30 pm, whereas Pakistan will conclude on February 21, from 3 pm to 4:30 pm.

“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.

Pakistan had submitted a 400-page reply in July this year as part of its rejoinder to India’s last reply of April 17.

India has said that Jadhav is innocent and has maintained that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had gone for handling his businesses after superannuation from the Indian Navy.

Pakistan claim that its security forces arrested Jadhav from its Balochistan province in March, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. India denies all charges. India moved the ICJ in May last year against the verdict. A 10-member ICJ bench on May 18, 2017 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the case was adjudicated on.

In its written pleadings, India in September 2017 accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Jadhav. It had also contended that Jadhav’s trial should have been conducted by a civilian court.

The Indian stance was dismissed by Pakistan in its counter-pleading, submitted on December 13, 2017.

In its counter-memorial, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav was not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

Later, in a public relations exercise, Pakistan on Christmas arranged a meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife for about 40 minutes – through a glass panel – but did not allow a private discussion between them.

Following the meeting, Islamabad “categorically” denied it was a “consular access” even as Indian Deputy High Commissioner was present during the meeting. Jadhav’s mother and wife faced harassment and ill-treatment during the entire episode.

Pakistan defended its actions by saying that it had been “open and transparent” throughout the meeting which necessitated a “comprehensive security check” of the visiting kin.

India submitted its second memorial in the ICJ in April this year.

Jadhav was allegedly apprehended on March 3, 2016, after he illegally crossed into Pakistan via the Iran border, according to Pakistani officials.

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations with a seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague in the Netherlands.

The court is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

An Indian judge, Justice Dalveer Bhandari, is among the judges at the ICJ.

(Inputs from IANS)

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