New Delhi: India has been given three months to file its written submission, or ‘memorial’, before the International Court of Justice on its plea for declaring Pakistan to be in violation of international law by imposing a death sentence on former Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav.
External Affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on Friday that ICJ had asked India to file its memorial by September 13, but denied that it was a setback for New Delhi.
On June 8, Indian and Pakistani ‘agents’ held a discussion with the ICJ president, Ronny Abraham, to discuss the timeline for the proceedings. Last month, ICJ granted India’s plea of provisional measures and effectively stayed the implementation of Jadhav’s death sentence.
“What transpired at that meeting (of June 8) was that timelines were discussed. As per discussions, we submitted for early and expeditious proceedings in the matter and pointed out the precedence of the Avena case, in which four months were given for submitting memorial,” said Baglay.
After hearing both sides, ICJ has directed India to file the memorial by September 13, and Pakistan to file its counter-memorial by December 13, he added.
Referring to Pakistan media reports, Baglay said that they “don’t accurately reflect the submission of India or the decision of the court”.
He said, “Certainly the interpretation that we had wanted a certain timeline which has not been contained in the court’s directive, I don’t think is correct. As I mentioned, we ourselves had asked for four months.”
India’s memorial will have to explain the grounds for the ‘final relief’ as outlined in its initial prayer. These are:
– an immediate suspension of the death sentence
– restitution in interregnum by declaring that the sentence of the military court arrived at, in “brazen defiance of the Vienna Convention rights … and in defiance of elementary human rights of an accused which are also to be given effect as mandated under Article 14 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is violative of international law and the provisions of the Vienna Convention”
– restraining Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court, and directing it to take steps to annul the decision of the military court as may be available to it under the law in Pakistan
– if Pakistan is unable to annul the decision, then this court to “declare the decision illegal being violative of international law and treaty rights and restrain Pakistan from acting in violation of the Vienna Convention and international law by giving effect to the sentence or the conviction in any manner, and directing it to release the convicted Indian National forthwith”.