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Jadhav death sentence: India has upper hand over Pak at ICJ, says AG

New Delhi: As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday is set to hear the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by Pakistan on charges of espionage, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has expressed optimism saying that India has the upper hand in the matter.

“I think India has a very good case on violation of all international norms and treaties,” Rohatgi told ANI.

He further reiterated that Pakistan’s trial of Jadhav had rejected all international laws as well as human rights, as he was tried in a military court without the presence of an attorney.

The ICJ on May 9 put a stay on the death sentence given by Pakistan to the alleged Indian spy.

The development came after India instituted proceedings against Pakistan, accusing the latter of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations” in the matter of detention and trial of Jadhav, and sought a stay on his death sentence.

India earlier contended that it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights, an official release from the ICJ said.

India further said that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the authorities of Pakistan were denying it its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite its repeated requests. It’s also pointed out that India learned about the “death sentence against Jadhav from a press release.”

India submitted that it had information that Jadhav was “kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy, and was then shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan” on March 3, 2016, and that the Indian authorities were notified of that arrest on March 25, 2016.

India also asked the ICJ to declare the decision illegal being violative of international law and treaty rights and restrain Pakistan from acting in violation of the Vienna Convention and international law by giving effect to the sentence or the conviction in any manner, and directing it to release the convicted Indian National forthwith, if Pakistan is unable to annul the decision.

Pakistan had claimed that Jadhav was arrested from the Baluchistan province last year. A military court sentenced him to death, alleging he was involved in espionage and anti-national activities. Pakistan also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.”

India out rightly denied the claims, saying Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was running a business, and adding he was a retired Navy officer.

Pakistan has turned down 16 requests from India for consular access to Jadhav.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) last month for his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

PTI