Basic human rights of Jadhav violated: Indian judge on ICJ

Pak to draft new team of lawyers
Report by: 
New Delhi/Islamabad
19 May 2017

Justice Dalveer Bhandari, the Indian judge on the ICJ bench, today said in his declaration in the case that Pakistan violated Kulbhushan Jadhav's basic human rights by not allowing India consular access to him. The declaration was issued along with the unanimous ruling of the ICJ staying the execution of Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged espionage.

"The case gives rise to questions pertaining to the basic violation of human rights through the denial of consular access during the pendency of court proceedings in Pakistan, which culminated with Jadhav's death sentence," Judge Bhandari, who has been a member of the ICJ since April 2012, said. He outlined the facts pertaining to India s application instituting proceedings as well as to India s request for provisional measures. He stated four requirements for the indication of provisional measures -- prima facie jurisdiction; plausibility; real and imminent risk of irreparable prejudice and the link between the rights claimed on the merits and the provisional measures requested.

Meanwhile, after facing flak over handling of the case, the Pakistan government has decided to constitute a new team of lawyers to "vigorously" present its case against Indian national Jadhav at the ICJ. Prime Minister's advisor on foreign affairs said this today. The announcement by Sartaj Aziz came amid criticism by experts and opposition leaders over the government's handling of the case at the International Court of Justice. The Hague-based court had on Thuursday stayed the execution of Jadhav, 46, considered to be a spy by Pakistan. The UN's highest judicial body also asked Pakistan to take "all measures" to ensure that Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged espionage, was not executed till the court had delivered its final verdict on the issue.

The ruling triggered criticism of the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) for its "poor handling" and also for its choice of UK-based Khawar Qureshi, who represented Pakistan's case before the ICJ. Aziz, however, maintained that Qureshi had "courageously" presented Pakistan's case in the court, the Nation reported. He said the ICJ had given its point of view on Jadhav's case to get counselor access. "Pakistan s security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right," Aziz was quoted as saying by the daily.

Pakistan, which announced the sentence on Jadhav on April 10, claims its security forces arrested him from its  restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav's case is the latest flash-point in the tensions between Pakistan and India. The two countries last faced off at the ICJ 18 years ago when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.

Though India have got a breather from the ICJ, his well-being still remains a matter of concern as Pakistan has provided no information about his location or his health condition. According to government sources, since the case has reached the international court, it is incumbent on Pakistan to produce "material evidence" about his whereabout and well- being. They also stressed on the requirement for Pakistan to produce evidence of proper trial which it claimed to have conducted in the case.

Asked if the government has information on Jadhav's location in Pakistan, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said: "As of today, the Pakistan government has not provided any information about Jadhav's condition or where he has been kept there. This has been a matter of concern."  Last month, India had also asked the Pakistan government to provide a report on his medical condition.
On Jadhav's appeal process, Baglay said: "Unfortunately, India has no information on the issue."