Will move ICJ again if Kulbhushan Jadhav doesn't get fair trial: Harish Salve

Salve, currently based in London, believes that consular access would allow Jadhav to build a strong defence in a military court in Pakistan.

Published: 18th July 2019 06:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2019 06:46 PM   |  A+A-

Senior advocate Harish Salve

Senior advocate Harish Salve who represented India in ICJ for the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. (Photo | EPS)


NEW DELHI: "I am an incorrigible optimist and we will again move the world court if Pakistan fails to conduct a fair trial in Kulbhushan Jadhav's case," renowned lawyer Harish Salve, who represented India in the ICJ, said on Thursday.

In an email response to IANS, Salve, a former Solicitor General of India, said Pakistan was bound to give a fair trial to Jadhav even in a military court following the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"I hope so, but that's because I am an incorrigible optimist," Salve said in response to a query on a fair trial for Jadhav in Pakistan.

Salve charged Rs 1 as fee to represent India during the public hearing in the Jadhav case at the ICJ in the Hague.

On the other hand, reportedly Pakistan spent more than Rs 20 crore on lawyers to prove that Jadhav was an Indian spy.

READ MORE | Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India spent Re 1, Pakistan crores on lawyers

The ICJ on Wednesday ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav and asked it to reconsider the death sentence awarded to him by a military court.

The world court also directed Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav, while holding that it had "breached" the Vienna Convention in this regard by denying him this right.

Salve, currently based in London, believes that consular access would allow Jadhav to build a strong defence in a military court in Pakistan.

Asked if India would address Jadhav's human rights during trial in a military court, Salve said: "By being watchful and also being in constant touch with him."

The ICJ observed that even Pakistan, along with India, had acknowledged the fact that Jadhav was an Indian national.

The court found that Pakistan deprived India of the "right to communicate with and have access" to Jadhav to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation, and thereby breached the obligations incumbent upon it under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Pakistan alleged that Jadhav was a senior Indian intelligence officer who entered Pakistan illegally to carry out acts of sabotage when he was caught. A military court later sentenced him to death on charges of terrorism.

India says he was not a spy and that he ran a business in an Iranian border region from where he was abducted and taken to Pakistan and forced to confess.

In the absence of a fair trial, Salve reckoned that diplomacy was the best alternative in such critical political scenario, and through this authorities can actually bring Jadhav back to India.

Salve reiterated that Pakistan should realise the importance of this crucial judgment, and once it does, then diplomacy will be the preferred channel.

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