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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

pleading in International Court of Justice for Kulbhushan ~ fee of Harish Salve

It was a literally a race against time for India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was not in session and the intelligence community in Delhi had indicated that Pakistan was speeding up Jadhav's execution.  Alarmed by the piece of intel on Jadhav, India dispatched to The Hague noted lawyer Harish Salve, who gave an intense and urgent briefing of the case to the ICJ registrar for close to 20 minutes.

The dramatic dash resulted in International Court of Justice asking Pakistan to hold its hands on a military court's death sentence to Jadhav while according top priority to India's request for interim stay on the execution till its formal hearing. Mr Harish Salve being a top lawyer, charging pretty high is well known.  He reportedly is a man with penchant for apple products and man of fine taste, driving a Bentley.  Some one muttered on twitter that - any senior lawyer "would have done the same and with much less expenses than Harish Salve !! – cheap comments indeed.

It is before the Highest Forum – the International Court of Justice  has its seat in ‘Peace Palace’   building in The Hague, the Netherlands.  The Palace officially opened on 28 August 1913, and was originally built to provide a home for the PCA, a court created to end war by the Hague Convention of 1899. The International Court of Justice will decide whether to order Pakistan to temporarily halt the execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav after what India termed a “farcical” military trial in Pakistan, following a day of intense public hearings at the Peace Palace here.

During the hearings, India’s Counsel Harish Salve accused Pakistan of “egregious violations” of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access. The former German ambassador to Pakistan Gunter Mullack criticised Pakistan for not allowing India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The German diplomat also said that executing the Indian national would be like pouring oil on. "According to the Vienna convention, India would have the right to get in contact with the person if he is in Indian being arrested in a foreign country," Mullack said. "Any embassy or consular general has the right to have contact with any citizen, who is arrested or accused in a foreign country," he added.

ICJ is hearing  the India’s case against the death sentence to an Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav awarded by a Pakistan military court. After 18 years, India and Pakistan will confront each other in the world court. India has stayed away from the international court and it is only the second time after 1971 that New Delhi has sought the intervention of the judicial arm of the United Nations against Pakistan.
According to Pak media, a five-member delegation from Pakistan will be pleading the country’s case in the ICJ, while 13-member team will represent the India. Pakistan would challenge the jurisdiction of the international court to hear the case and present the arguments in this regard at 6pm. Both sides will be giving 90 minutes each to make their arguments, while India will start the argument. It is expected that court will take provisional steps in the case. Court president judge Ronny Abraham of France is expected to hold meeting with the agents or legal representatives of the two countries and decide on the procedural issues such as the time-frame of the case.

Here is something reported in ‘Dailypakistanglobal’ :   India and Pakistan were face-to-face at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague after 18 years, a ‘silent’ war of gestures prevailed throughout the hearings as India’s Ministry of External Affairs Official Dr Deepak Mittal refused to shake hands with Pakistan’s Mohammad Faisal’s and offered Namaste. Ahead of the hearing today, while India’s lawyer Harish Salve shook hands politely with his Pakistani counterpart, Deepak Mittal seems to have chosen to take the legal battle to a very personal level and ignored the handshake by Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan’s DG for South Asia and SAARC. Interestingly, Dr Mittal did shake hands with other delegation members of Pakistan, including the Pakistani attorney general, the main lawyer in the case from the Pakistan government.

There is increasing strain in Indo-Pak ties in the aftermath of the Kulbhushan Jadhav episode.   The ICJ on Monday reserved its judgement on India’s appeal for a provisional stay on the execution of one of its citizens Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was convicted of espionage and sentenced to death by Pakistan. The move came after Pakistan’s lawyer Khawar Quraishi presented his arguments on Monday. Among other things, Quraishi argued over the jurisdiction of the court to hear a case of this nature.

Now getting back to that ‘utterly nonsense tweet’ on the fees of Harish Salve : Union Minister Sushma Swaraj revealed how much senior advocate Harish Salve is charging to argue the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. The former Solicitor General of India  spoke for nearly one-and-half hours to present India's appeal against the death sentence to Mr Jadhav, whom Pakistan has accused of spying.   In a response tweet, Ms Sushma Swaraj   said 61-year-old Mr Salve, an authority on constitutional law who has often represented India in international forums, is charging only Re 1.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

16th May 2017.

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