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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India submits written pleadings to the International Court of Justice

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. (Image source: Battle Machines, YouTube) Photograph: (Others)

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 13, 2017, 03.57 PM (IST)

India on Wednesday submitted its written pleadings to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former naval officer of the country whose death sentence by a Pakistan military court for alleged espionage had been suspended by the UN top court pending its final judgement.

The contents of the submission will not be made public.

"India has, today, submitted its Memorial (written pleadings) to the ICJ in the Jadhav case involving egregious violation of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 by Pakistan. This is in furtherance of our application filed before the Court on May 8, 2017," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

The ICJ has suspended the death sentence of Jadhav -- pending final judgement -- by after India moved the court in May, requesting immediate suspension of the sentence.

After consultations with advocates from both sides, ICJ President Ronny Abraham, asked India to make its submissions by September 13 and Pakistan to make its counter-submissions by December 13 before it starts hearing the matter.

"... At a meeting held by the President of the Court with the Agents of the Parties on 8 June 2017...The Agent of India requested that each Party be granted a period of four months for the preparation of its pleading; and whereas the Agent of Pakistan indicated that periods of two months would be sufficient," the UN top court, which is based in The Hague, had said.

"Taking into account the views of the parties, the Court fixes the following time-limits for the filing of the written pleadings -13 September 2017 for the Memorial of India; 13 December 2017 for the Counter-Memorial of Pakistan; and Reserves the subsequent procedure for further decision," it added.

Pakistan claims to have arrested Mr Jadhav from restive Balochistan in March last year. 

India, however,  maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had legal business interests after retiring from the navy.

On April 10, Jadhav was given the death sentence by a military court in Pakistan for alleged "espionage and subversive activities". 

On May 8, India moved the ICJ for instituting proceedings against Pakistan for violating the Vienna Convention "in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian National" and requested immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded to the accused.

On May 18, the UN top court asked Pakistan to not execute Mr Jadhav before they decide the case.

As its main argument, Pakistan claimed that Mr Jadhav had confessed to the crime in a video and accused India of using the ICJ for its political theatrics.  

Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi contended that the former naval officer entered into Islamabad through Iran using fake passport. He told the court that Pakistan had given India all information regarding Jadhav's investigation, but didn't receive any response from New Delhi. 

India asserted that Mr Jadhav was forced into confessing by the military while in captivity and he was tried by a military court in Pakistan.

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