ICJ to hear Kulbhushan Jadhav case in February 2019

The Hague: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Wednesday announced to hold public hearings in a case regarding convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav in February next year.

The court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will conduct hearings in the case (India v. Pakistan) from February 18 to February 21, 2019, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, a press release said.

According to a schedule issued on the ICJ website, India and Pakistan will present their oral arguments for three hours on February 18 and 19, respectively, in the first round of hearings. In the second round, India will present its argument for 1.5 hours on February 20 while Pakistan will do the same on February 21.

Pakistan had in July this year filed its second counter-memorial in the Jadhav case in the ICJ.

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

With the filing of the counter-memorial by Pakistan, the process of written submissions in the case by both parties (India and Pakistan) had completed.The voluminous 400-page written pleading submitted by Pakistan argued that the Vienna Convention is not applicable in the case of Jadhav, who is a commissioned officer in Indian Navy and was serving with spy agency RAW at the time of his capture in Pakistan in March 2016.

Jadhav was later sentenced to death in 2017 by a military tribunal for his involvement in espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and the mercy petition is pending with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

India had approached the ICJ against Pakistan for allegedly violating Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by denying consular access to Jadhav immediately after his capture. Pakistan had last December hosted Jadhav’s with his wife and mother as a humanitarian gesture.The court had soon after accepting the Indian petition held a single round of oral hearings following which the Pakistan government was restrained from executing Jadhav till its final verdict in the case. Two rounds of written submissions by both parties followed.

Commander Jadhav — an on-duty Indian navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan, after he entered into Pakistan from Iran. He has been convicted of espionage and sabotage activities.India Submits Reply Over Kulbhushan Jadhav Case in ICJIn his video message, he confessed, “My name is Kubhushan Yadhav and my India Navy Id is 41558. I had entered in Pakistan two years ago by crossing the Iran border while working for the Indian intelligence agency. Later I had been arrested by the Pakistani security forces in Balochistan.”

He also admitted that the Pakistan official’s conduct with him was professional and respectable as when he requested to meet with his wife and mother they arranged the meeting.