SRINAGAR: Terming staying of execution of Indian national Kalbushan Jadhav in Pakistan by International Court of Justice (ICJ) as great sense of relief, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it is serious indictment of mockery of judicial system that exists in Pakistan.
On talks with Hurriyat conference in J&K, the finance minister said, “Let the situation in the state become normal and it is our priority at this moment.”
“Any form of judicial proceeding which is conducted in secrecy and darkness and is not open for any public gaze lacks the very appearance of justice,” Jaitley told reporters in Srinagar on sidelines of two-day GST council meeting, here.
He said there is a great sense of relief and happiness in India that ICJ has ruled in India’s favour and stayed the execution Kalbushan Jadhav in Pakistan.
According to Jaitley, secret proceedings conducted in darkness are conspiratorial in nature.
“Denial of consular access only emphasizes that denial,” he said adding the ICJ verdict is serious indictment of mockery of judicial system that exists in Pakistan.
The Finance Minister said the ICJ order highlights the importance of the fact that the person allegedly accused has right of effective defense, which includes providing consular access.
“Unless the person has access to his own consulates, he cannot be aided in defending himself. He should get counsel to defend himself. This is essential for rule of law and fairness,” he said.
Jaitley praised Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for piloting the strategy at The Hague and Advocate Harish Salve for effectively arguing the matter.
On Pakistan’s rejection of the ICJ verdict, he said, the country has to be ready to put itself in a position of violating all cannons of the international law.
“It is great vindication of India’s stand and entire Indian team at The Hague deserves to be congratulated”, he said.
When asked about the volatile situation in Kashmir, the finance minister said he had a detailed meeting with Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and other army commanders in Srinagar yesterday. “They were confident of dealing with the situation”.
He admitted that situation in some parts of the state is very challenging but said it was certainly far normal than what media was conveying.
On talks with separatist conglomerate Hurriyat conference in J&K, Jaitley said, “Let the situation in the state become normal. It (restoring normalcy) at this point of time is our priority.”
“As and when we deal with this matter, central government will make an announcement. I am not able to speculate anything,” he said.
“We are talking about judicial proceedings, in which certain norm of fairness has to be maintained. Incidents of violence are not in that category itself. Therefore there is no question of equating the two,” Jaitley said when asked why this rule of law is not seen in Kashmir, which is witnessing strife and where civilians have been killed in security forces firing.