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India rebuffs Pak's claim, says ICJ never ignored its plea in Jadhav's case

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 June 2017, 17:30 IST
Jadhav's case

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday rebuffed the claim made by Pakistan as per which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) turned down New Delhi's request to give it six months of time to file its plea in the ongoing Kulbhushan Jadhav case and said India itself asked for four months of time which has been granted by the court.

MEA official spokesperson Gopal Baglay confirmed that the matter was heard by the ICJ on June 8, but added that it was not a full seating of the court, which took place earlier.

He said it was just that the president of the ICJ met the representative of both India and Pakistan to discuss the timeline of the case.

"What transpired in the meeting was the timelines which were discussed and as a result of these timelines or discussion, we submitted to the court for an early and expeditious proceeding in the matter and also pointed out a precedence of a case where four months had been given to one of the parties to submit its pleadings which is called the memorial," Baglay said.

Baglay said that after the submission by both countries in the regard to the timeline, the court directed India to submit its memorial in September 13 this year and have asked Pakistan to submit its counter-memorial by December 13, 2017.

"This is the factual situation. I don't think the report is being quoted accurately and reflected either in the submission of India or the decision of the court," he said.

Baglay further said that India itself asked for four months of time and after the submission of memorial by both the countries, the court will take decision on the same.

"Whether the hearing will take place in January or not, that is the decision the court will take after assessing both the memorial and counter memorial. At this stage, it is premature to say when the hearing will take place," he added.

Pakistan has claimed that India's request to give it six months time to file its plea was turned down by the ICJ.

Pakistan's Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf said that India had sought time till December to file its pleadings in the case. But the court allowed it time until September 13, reported Geo News.

The ICJ also set December 13 as the deadline for Pakistan to submit its counter-pleadings in the case.

The court heard the matter in chambers on June 8, as the Attorney General opposed the request by India on grounds that New Delhi had one full year to prepare its case and had speedily requested for expedited hearing on provisional measures.

On May 18, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an alleged spy working for RAW who was arrested from Balochistan in March 2016, until a final decision in the proceedings.

"Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings," ordered Judge Ronny Abraham, president of the court, as he announced the decision.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has criticised Pakistan's human rights record and squarely reminded Islamabad that it has grossly erred in handing down capital punishment for those allegedly violating the nation's blasphemy law, in the excessive of military courts and in denying India consular access to former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav on multiple occasions.

European Union Parliament members has unanimously endorsed a resolution that criticised the abuse of capital punishment by Pakistan for fulfilling its political aims in trials related to civilians.

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty, the European Parliament members reiterated their strong opposition to the use of the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances and called on Pakistan to reintroduce a moratorium on executions and commute all death sentences to various terms of imprisonment.

"Death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment and a miscarriage of justice," said one the members of the European Parliament.

Referring specifically to the Jadhav case, wherein he has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and sabotage, the EU Parliament deplored the use of military courts for holding hearings in camera and sought an assurance from the Government of Pakistan to reverse the decision to the extent military courts should apply their jurisdiction only on breaches of military discipline, and that too, only those committed by military personnel.

The European Parliament resolution also insisted that authorities in Pakistan should grant access to international observers and human rights organisations for purposes of monitoring the use of military courts and strengthen the civilian judiciary in line with international standards on judicial proceedings.

As India was denied consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, the resolution underscored that "third country nationals brought to trial, must be allowed access to consular services and protection."

The European Parliament reminded Islamabad of its obligation to ensure respect for the fundamental rights of freedom of thought and freedom of expression and other international and regional human rights instruments.

Expressing its grave concern about the recent mass trials leading to a vast number of death sentences, the resolution sought an immediate and definitive end to such practices, which violate international human rights standards.

Stressing about the prevailing situation regarding human rights violation in Pakistan, the resolution said ,"Several minority people have been killed and persecuted because they are not being protected by the government and death penalty are the tools for setting personal vendetta or to suppress minorities."

The European Parliament said that the death penalty is incompatible with values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, on which the Union is founded, and that any member state reintroducing the death penalty would, therefore, be in violation of the Treaties and of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The European Parliament then instructed its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Commission Vice-President, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and Parliament of Pakistan and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for further deliberation and action.


First published: 16 June 2017, 17:30 IST