NEW DELHI: The trial of Kulbhusan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for spying, hopelessly fails to satisfy even minimum standards of due process and should be declared unlawful, India told the International Court of Justice at The Hague on Monday.
“Pakistani military courts are not independent and the proceedings before them fall far short of national and international fair trial standards,” senior advocate and former Solicitor General of India Harish Salve told the court. “Judges of military courts are military officers who are part of the executive branch of the government and do not enjoy independence from the military hierarchy,” said Salve. Pakistan will present its case on Tuesday.
Claiming that there was no doubt that Pakistan was using Jadhav as a propaganda tool, he said no credible evidence was provided by Pakistan to show his involvement in any act of terrorism, and his purported confession was clearly coerced.
“Pakistan knowingly, brazenly and willingly” violated international law, he added, noting that an FIR was filed almost a month after Jadhav’s arrest. India was denied consular access despite 13 requests to the neighbouring country.
Pakistan was embarrassed to even disclose charges against him, Salve said, adding: “considering the trauma he has been subjected to over the past three years, it would be in the interest of justice of making human rights a reality, to direct his release.”
‘Tool for security men to harass people of Kashmir’
“The details have been sought from the PIB office in J&K as well,” said a MIB official.
Suhail Naqshbandi, a political cartoonist with Greater Kashmir, said such a monitoring exercise would muzzle dissent from within the Valley. “Art is art... As a political cartoonist, my job is to show the mirror. I do not recall artists doing anything illegal,” said Naqshbandi.
According to Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a political analyst from the Valley, the move is to appease Indian vote banks.
“There are already so many laws — sedition law, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA), Public Safety Act…. what is the point of issuing such an order?” asked Hussain. “Kashmir already has a situation where freedom of expression gets trampled every day. This would become another tool in the hands of security agencies to harass people.”
No legal training
Pak military court judges are not required to have judicial or legal training or even a law degree, nor do they enjoy any tenure security - prerequisites of judicial competence, independence
617 people convicted:
Pakistan military courts first set up in 2015 for speedy trial of militants after the 2014 Peshawar school attack.
617 convicted for terror-related offences so far; 346 sentenced to death.
At least 56 hanged. Only four acquitted, according to Pakistan media.