'From Caesar To Caesar': India Tells International Court of Justice Appeal In Pakistan For Kulbhushan Jadhav Would Be A Sham

Arguing that it was worthless to file an appeal against Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence in Pakistan, India said the Army Chief had already confirmed the verdict and a petition to his junior officers "would be an appeal from Caesar to Caesar".

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'From Caesar To Caesar': India Tells International Court of Justice Appeal In Pakistan For Kulbhushan Jadhav Would Be A Sham

India has told the International Court of Justice that Kulbhushan Jadhav's trial was vitiated

NEW DELHI:  In its application against the death sentence awarded to Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav, India has told the International Court of Justice that the verdict was awarded by Pakistan's military court after a "vitiated" trial and any appeal against this decision in the neighbouring was "illusory".

The United Nations' highest court will hold the first round of hearing on Monday before a formal stay order is expected to be passed by the 15-judge bench to let the court hold detailed hearings that could take months to conclude.

In all of four hearings between September 2016 and February 2017, a Pakistan military court had completed the trial against the 46-year-old Mr Jadhav, convicting him on multiple counts of terrorism that led to loss of "many lives and damage of property". India insists the former naval officer was on business to Iran from where he was abducted. Pakistan claimed he was caught from Baluchistan.

In making its case that Pakistan had violated the Vienna convention that mandated India should have been informed about his arrest and given access to him. New Delhi has produced all the letters exchanged with Islamabad to demonstrate that the only offer, even if conditional, to give consular access came after the trial had concluded. But it wasn't only the appeals process that was vitiated.

The application went on to argue that the remedy against the conviction cited by Mr Aziz was "worthless" since Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had already confirmed the verdict.

"An appeal before a Tribunal presided over by him or officers' junior to him would be an appeal from Caesar to Caesar," the application to institute proceedings at the world court in the Dutch city of The Hague said.

Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had last month claimed Kulbhushan Jadhav's trial was conducted in a "fully transparent manner" and based on credible, specific evidence.

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He had gone on to declare that he could appeal against the 10 April sentence within 40 days to the appellate military court, and file a mercy petition first to Chief of Army Staff, and then, to Pakistan President.

India has cited a news report in Pakistani newspaper Dawn that made it clear the appellate tribunal would be headed by a two-star general. "The spokesperson is quoted as having said that he did not see any chance of the verdict being overturned," the application by the foreign ministry's joint secretary Deepak Mittal said.

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