NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that India couldn’t take the case of the beheading of Indian soldiers by Pakistani Rangers at the Line of Control (LoC) to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague till Pakistan agreed to it.
In an affidavit, the government told the court that India couldn’t invoke the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ in disputes concerning armed conflicts and hostilities with Pakistan as they were Commonwealth countries.
The court was hearing a case filed by the father of Kargil martyr Capt Saurabh Kalia.
Kalia and five other soldiers were captured on 15 May, 1999, by Pakistani troops when they had gone out on patrol duty in the Kaskar area in Jammu and Kashmir.
They were kept in captivity, where they were tortured and their bodies mutilated, triggering outrage in the country. Their bodies were handed over to India after 15 days. Kalia’s eardrums were punctured with hot rods, his eyes gouged out, his limbs and genitals severed. Most of his teeth and bones were broken.
The soldier’s father, N K Kalia,had moved the Supreme Court in 2012 demanding an international probe.
A few months ago, the government said that it would change its original affidavit and seek the Supreme Court’s approval to approach the ICJ to punish Pakistan for violating international law by torturing an Indian prisoner of war (PoW).
MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup then said the government had conventionally held the position that India and Pakistan couldn’t invoke the jurisdiction of the ICJ in such disputes as they were Commonwealth members.
“This position, which was stated in the affidavit filed by the government on 26 September, 2013, has now been reviewed,” he had said.
However, in reply to a Parliamentary question in July last year, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V K Singh had said, “The possibility of seeking legal remedies through international courts was also thoroughly examined but not found feasible.”
■ India couldn’t invoke the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ as they were Commonwealth countries
■ Kalia and five other soldiers were captured on 15 May, 1999, by Pakistani troops. In captivity, they were tortured and their bodies mutilated