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'Situation grave', Pakistan may hang Jadhav soon: India at ICJ

IANS  |  The Hague 

on Monday put up a spirited defence and urged the international to immediately suspend the death sentence awarded to alleged spy Kulbushan Jadhav in Pakistan, saying "the situation is grave" and there was fear that he may be executed even before the decides the case.

Lawyer Harish Salve, who led the Indian legal team at the Hague-based International of Justice (ICJ), said the matter was "urgent and hence approached this court" that took up the case "at such a short notice".

Salve told the that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran in 2016, brought to Pakistan, presented as an alleged Indian spy and confession was extracted in a military custody.

"did not inform of the arrest," Salve said, pointing out that had moved the ICJ seeking suspension of the sentence awarded to Jadhav by a military following a "farcical trial".

The former Indian Navy officer was awarded the death sentence by a Pakistani military last month, a year after he was arrested on espionage charges. says Jadhav has been kidnapped and framed.

Islamabad has rejected 16 Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav, who is held at an unknown prison in

Salve said a communication from dated May 12 didn't clarify what the charges against Jadhav were.

"said Jadhav's sentence is based on credible evidence in espionage against refuses these allegations. has taken measures to ensure appropriate legal measures for Jadhav. It is not known whether Jadhav will seek clemency in the present circumstances."

Salve cited three past similar cases in which the ICJ had intervened. These cases include Paraguay versus the US in which the decided that the American government needed to take steps to give rights of access of a Paraguayan national.

In Germany vs the US, Salve said, the held that execution of a German national was "an irreparable damage to justice".

Deepak Mittal, an Indian official, told the in his opening remarks that there was a fear that Jadhav may be executed soon even before the decision of the UN "Jadhav has not got the right to get proper legal assistance and the right to consular access. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a decision is passed."

Mittal told ICJ President Ronny Abraham, who presided over the proceedings, that India's repeated requests to on consular access to Jadhav were denied.

"learnt from press reports that the death sentence was awarded to Jadhav on the basis of an alleged confession. has not provided the chargesheet, any documents on the case despite repeated requests.

"It is clear that Jadhav has been denied of his right to seek legal counsel. Jadhav's parents have applied for visa to travel to which has fallen on deaf ears."

V.D. Sharma, a Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry and co-agent, said had failed to comply with all its legal obligations by denying consular access to Jadhav ever since he was arrested in March 2016.

Sharma also urged the to restrain from "giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court" and to direct it to annul its decision.

The day-long hearing, which began on Monday morning, involves two sessions of an hour-and-a-half each to and to make their cases.

Pakistan's session will begin in the afternoon.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 15 2017. 15:00 IST