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WATCH: What If Pakistan Conducts Another Sham Trial For Kulbhushan Jadhav? Here's Harish Salve's Answer

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:


  • India won a massive victory in the ICJ in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Wednesday
  • The ICJ has suspended the death sentence till Pakistan conducts an 'effective review and reconsideration' of the conviction
  • Harish Salve has opined on the possibility of Pakistan conducting another sham trial, and Pakistan may want to heed his words

After leading India's legal team to a massively significant win in the ICJ over Pakistan in the matter of the death sentence that had been awarded to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, senior counsel Harish Salve answered a key question pertaining to the verdict - namely, what if Pakistan's 'effective review and reconsideration' of its conviction leads to the same result.

"Most tellingly, the court has said that 'you may take all measures, including legislative'," Salve said, laying emphasis on the scope of the verdict pronounced at the Hague on Wednesday, and adding, "I see this as something that we're very happy with and I think it is now a good moment for us to help Jadhav get justice, ensure we have a fair trial."

Coming to the specific matter - the possibility that Pakistan may once again return the case to its kangaroo military court - Salve said, "And as to 'what if?': The way the court judgment is, we can always go back to them if what they give is not a fair trial."

READ | Kulbhushan Jadhav Verdict: Here are the 8 key matters on which ICJ 'unanimously' sided with India and bludgeoned Pakistan

Elaborating that legal recourse at the world court would still be available to India, he made a case for why it is Pakistan which should be worried about how it conducts its legal proceedings in the course from this point:

"They've said a fair trial in accordance with Pakistan's constitution. If it is back in military court where outside lawyers are not allowed, evidence isn't allowed, then it's not a fair trial," Salve said.

He continued, "If they don't change their military law, then they're leaving themselves open to an appeal."

Coming to another significant decision taken by the ICJ in its order, that Pakistan must immediately give India consular access to Jadhav, Salve said, "If I was being graceful, I'd say 'please come tomorrow and meet him.'"

Short of annulling Pakistan's sham verdict and ordering the immediate return of Kulbhushan Jadhav to India, The ICJ was unanimous in siding with India in its order. On eight counts out of eight, ranging from India's right to invoke it in the matter, to Pakistan's denial of information and access entailing a gross violation of the Vienna convention, to the sham nature of the trial, the bench (the one ad-hoc Pakistan judge notwithstanding) ruled in India's favour. The death sentence has been suspended till Pakistan conducts a fair trial.

READ | Here's all you need to know about the Kulbhushan Jadhav case