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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the order of International Court of Justice in Kulbhushan Jadhav case was a serious indictment of the Pakistan's judicial system. The finance minister, who is here to attend the two-day GST Council meeting, said the order issued by the ICJ at The Haque was a vindication of India's stand. "This order, though interim, is a very serious indictment of the kind of mockery of the judicial system that exists in Pakistan," Jaitley told reporters here. "For any student of law, it is obvious that secret proceedings conducted in darkness are conspiratorial in nature and denial of consular access only emphasises that denial. It is a great vindication of India's stand and our entire team at The Hague deserves to be congratulated," he said. In an obvious reference to Jadhav's trial in a Pakistani military court, Jaitley said any form of judicial proceeding which is conducted in secrecy and in darkness and is not open for any public gaze, lacks the very appearance of justice. "The proceedings and the order today highlights the importance of the fact that a person who is allegedly accused ... Has a right of effective defence. Unless this right of effective defence is exercised, the proceeding does not inspire the confidence of fairness. "Consular access is a part of it.
Unless a person has access to his own counselling, he cannot be aided and assisted in defending himself. He cannot even get a counsel of his own choice. I think this is essential for both rule of law and fairness," Jaitley said. In the annuls of international law, this judgement is a great victory of rule of law itself, the finance minister said. "With great sense of relief as also happiness in India that the ICJ has ruled in India's favour and stayed the execution of Jadhav who is held in Pakistan's custody," he added. Jaitley lauded External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the strategy adopted at the ICJ and made a special mention for Harish Salve who argued the matter. Asked about the reported refusal of Pakistan Foreign Office to accept the ICJ order, Jaitley said it would amount to Pakistan violating the cannons of international norms. "Those who are dealing with it will certainly respond but the ICJ ruling is based on the international notions of rule of law and civility. "Therefore, if any country says I don't accept the ruling ... It is the country putting itself in a position that it is guilty of such a heinous crime violating all canons of international norms," he said.
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