Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the ICJ in May. Photograph: (AFP)
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has asked India to make its submissions in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case by September 13, and Pakistan by December 13, the Ministry of External Affairs said today.
Asked if the hearing in the case would begin after the submissions of the two countries, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the court will decide if it needs more submissions and then take a call on the future course of action.
The external affairs ministry also dismissed reports in the Pakistani media that the ICJ had rejected New Delhi's request seeking more time to make its submissions.
Asked about Pakistan's claim that the court had rejected India's request for more time, Gopal Baglay said it was not true as India had sought four months for its submissions to which the court had agreed by fixing the deadline in September.
Gopal Baglay clarified that the timelines had been decided in the June 8 meeting that ICJ President Ronny Abraham had with the agents of the two countries.
Pakistan's Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali was quoted by Dawn News as saying that India had asked time till December 13 to file its pleadings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and that "the court has dismissed their request".
"India had adopted the stance that the matter was one of life and death, but Pakistan had stated that the ICJ is not a court of appeals.
The ICJ is supposed to conclude whether or not Jadhav can receive consular access, for which a time period of two to three months is more than enough to file a response," the Pakistan attorney general said.
A 10-member bench of the ICJ had restrained Pakistan from executing Kulbhushan Jadhav in a hearing on May 18.
The former navy officer, 46, has been awarded the death sentence by a Pakistan army court for his alleged "involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan".
India moved the ICJ against the death sentence on May 8, describing the charges against Jadhav as "concocted" and his trial as "farcical".