The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hold public hearings from 18-21 February, 2019 in the case of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Hague-based court, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, said the first round of oral arguments by India would be held on 18 February, followed by Pakistan’s oral arguments the next day.
The second round of oral arguments by India would be conducted on 20 February and by Pakistan the next day.
Both India and Pakistan have already submitted their detailed pleas and responses in the world court.
“The hearings will be streamed live and on demand (VOD) in English and French on the Court’s website as well as on UN Web TV, the United Nations online television channel,” said the press release issued by the ICJ.
Pakistan says its security forces arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province in March 2016 after he reportedly entered the country from Iran.
In its submission to the ICJ, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
In May this year, the ICJ granted India’s request for provisional measures in the Jadhav case, effectively putting on hold his execution by Pakistan pending the court’s final decision.
Senior advocate Harish Salve appeared on behalf of India while Khawar Qureshi appeared for Pakistan at the ICJ.
Jadhav, an Indian national, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on what India says fictitious charges. India approached the ICJ in May last year invoking its power under Article 74 of the Rules of the Court to grant provisional measures.
India has accused Pakistan of violating Article 36(1) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, in that Islamabad failed to inform the India authorities of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest.
In its letter to the ICJ, India claims 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 Balochistan on 3 March, 2016. India has also stated that its repeated requests to Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav have been turned down by Islamabad.