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International Court of Justice rejects Pak request to adjourn Kulbhushan Jadhav case after ad hoc judge Gillani falls ill

Kulbhushan Jadhav case underway at the ICJ Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team The Hague, Netherlands Feb 19, 2019, 04.08 PM (IST)

The International Court of Justice(ICJ) today rejected Pakistan's request for adjournment of hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court of Justice(ICJ) in The Hague.

Pakistan had asked the ICJ to adjourn the case after its ad hoc judge Gillani was taken to hospital on Monday. The ICJ had begun a four-day public hearing in Jadhav's case on Monday.

Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, who is representing Pakistan had said: "We applied our right provided to us that we can appoint an ad hoc judge." 

"But since our judge is indispensable at this point. Pakistan would like to place before the court that another judge to be sworn in which right has been provided under article 35-5 and the judge be given ample amount of time to go through the briefings before going ahead with arguments," he said.

Pakistani judge Tassaduq Hussain Gillani, 69, had reportedly suffered a heart attack even though his family had told WION that he would be present in court today.

Under Article 31 of the Statute of the Court, a state party to a case before the International Court of Justice which does not have a judge of its nationality on the bench may choose a person to sit as judge ad hoc in that specific case. 

It follows that the composition of the International Court of Justice will vary from one case to another, and that the number of judges sitting in a given case will not necessarily be 15. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan today began its response to India's argument in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case asserting that the Indian national had "deliberately entered Pakistan".

India's former solicitor general of Harish Salve while presenting the case on Monday had said that Jadhav was tortured by Pakistan for three years and was denied consular access despite India sending as many as thirteen reminders.

Jadhav's trial by military court hopelessly fails to satisfy even minimum standards of due process and should be declared "unlawful", Salve had told the ICJ.

A Pakistani military court had sentenced Jadhav to death in April, 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism. In May in the same year, the world court had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.