Before India's Kulbhushan Jadhav Appeal, Pakistan Narrowed Role For International Court Of Justice

At the heart of India's case before the International Court of Justice is that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention that required Islamabad to give consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

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Before India's Kulbhushan Jadhav Appeal, Pakistan Narrowed Role For International Court Of Justice

International Court of Justice will take up India's appeal for Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday.

NEW DELHI: 

Highlights

  1. This was first time since 1960 that Pak tapered the court's jurisdiction
  2. World court has asked Pak to put its death sentence on hold
  3. World court will take up Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Monday
Pakistan curtailed the International Court of Justice powers to rule on matters that impinge on its national security or come within its domestic jurisdiction before India approached the world court for Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death by a military court.

The world court set up by the United Nations charter on Tuesday asked Pakistan to put its death sentence on hold after the Indian appeal. It will hold its first hearing on Monday at New Delhi's request that wanted a binding order to ensure that the former naval officer is put to no harm.

The change, that came into effect from 29 April, was reportedly made in anticipation of New Delhi approaching the international court, particularly given how India had been repeatedly sending requests to seek consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. Since his arrest in March last year, India had sent 16 requests to Pakistan, four of them last month.

This was the first time since 1960 that Pakistan had attempted to taper the world court's jurisdiction applicable to Pakistan. It isn't clear how the change would impact India's case, if at all.

Former Solicitor General Harish Salve who is leading the Indian legal team at The Hague told NDTV that he could not discuss the case which would come up for hearing on 15 May. But sources have indicated that India had accounted for the change in its 12-page request for provisional measures.

At the heart of India's case is that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention that required Islamabad to have given consular access to the Indian national. And because Mr Jadhav did not have benefit of counsel, the trial conducted against him by a military court was also vitiated.

India expects the 15-member international court to rule in its favour before taking up the case for detailed hearing that could stretch for months before a verdict comes.

On Monday, Pakistan is expected to start out by questioning the court's jurisdiction; this will be the focus of its approach. Yesterday, Pakistan's Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf told reporters that Islamabad's strategy was to "forcefully" defend the death sentence. "We have sent our recommendations to the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Office," Mr Ausaf said, according to a report in Dawn newspaper.

Not everyone in India agreed that the appeal was the best course of action for India. Former diplomat Vivek Katju worried that it would open the option for Pakistan to similarly take other bilateral issues to an international fora.

Former Indian Ambassador to Islamabad TCA Raghavan suggested it was too early to arrive at a conclusion. ''Whether going to ICJ was a good or bad idea only time will tell. But the idea was to save a man's life and do everything possible," he said.

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