India on Thursday declined to share with the media the arguments it would put forth when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) holds public hearings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case from 18 February at The Hague.
“Oral proceedings in the Jadhav case will commence on 18 February. India will present its case. Since the matter is sub-judice, it would not be appropriate to state our position in public,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a press briefing.
Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India moved the ICJ in May the same year against the verdict.
A 10-member bench of the ICJ on 18 May 2017 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
The ICJ on 23 January 2018 gave a timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case. Both India and Pakistan have already submitted their detailed pleas and responses in the court.
In its written pleadings, India has accused Pakistan of levelling fictitious charges against Jadhav and violating the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to him.
In response, Pakistan, through its counter-memorial on 13 December, told the ICJ that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 applied only to legitimate visitors and did not cover clandestine operations.
Pakistan had said that “since India did not deny that Jadhav was travelling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name, they have no case to plead.”
Pakistan said that India did not explain how “a serving naval commander” was travelling under an assumed name. It also stated that “since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that he was a spy sent on a special mission”.
Pakistan says its security forces arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province in March 2016 after he reportedly entered the country from Iran.