ICJ sets new timeline for submitting pleadings in Jadhav case

Posted on 23 January 2018 by Usama Hashmi - Total hits: 117

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ISLAMABAD: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has given new timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case of convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, sources have revealed to The Express Tribune.

Sources revealed that the ICJ has set April 17 for India to file another memorial, while Pakistan will have to submit a counter memorial by July 17.

In view of the timeline, they also informed that there is little chance that the hearing of the case will resume in 2018, adding that the two-month summer vacations of ICJ judges will start in August, and when it ended, the court will take up cases that have already been fixed before it.
Earlier, New Delhi sought time to file an additional memorial at the ICJ. Legal experts are, however, wondering why India is trying to unnecessarily drag the matter.

While submitting a 1,700-page counter memorial in the ICJ on December 13 last year, Pakistan rejected the Indian objection of not giving consular access to Jadhav, saying the provision of such access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors, and not spies.

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

India has repeatedly sought consular access to Jadhav, but Pakistan has turned down its requests, citing a bilateral accord that does not permit such access to spies.

However, on December 25, Islamabad allowed Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet with him on purely humanitarian grounds.

It was learnt that the government has also sought legal assistance from two top lawyers of the country. The initial memorial was drafted by Khawar Qureshi.

According to sources, Pakistan stated in the memorial that India did not explain how a serving naval commander, operating under India’s spy agency – Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) – was travelling under an assumed name. This leads to only one conclusion, that India seeks consular access to the information he [Jadhav] had gathered, it added.

It said since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that he was a spy sent on a special mission.

“Only a state that adheres to legitimate actions can request the court to intervene in a matter between two states. A state which does not come with clean hands cannot get any relief,” Pakistan contended.

Pakistan further said that sending Jadhav for espionage and funding terrorist activities were some of the reasons that disentitle India from invoking jurisdiction of the ICJ.

Sources said Pakistan also highlighted constant violations of human rights by India in occupied Kashmir. It said India is a habitual violator of human rights and has not honoured the UN resolutions on Kashmir.

“Giving false identity to Kulbhushan, sending him for espionage and funding of terrorists activities are all some of the reasons which disentitle India from invoking the jurisdiction of the ICJ,” said the counter memorial according to a source. The ICJ will decide the schedule of hearing within 15 days.

On September 13 last year, India submitted a 22-page memorandum wherein it objected to Jadhav being tried by a military court in Pakistan.

The sources said India contended that Jadhav’s trial should have been conducted by a civilian court and that Pakistan was bound to give him consular access.

The federal government has already appointed former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as an ad hoc judge for the case at The Hague.

Legal experts are urging all stakeholders to increase coordination in devising the final draft of the memorandum.

The ICJ on May 18 last year halted the execution of Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a military court on April 10 after being convicted on charges of terrorism and espionage.

Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel was apprehended on March 3, 2016, after he illegally crossed into Pakistan via Iran border.



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