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New Delhi: India on Tuesday filed a fresh set of pleadings in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) relating to the case of its national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism.
The second round of written reply by India in the case was in response to the submissions by Pakistan in the ICJ on December 13, 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
India had moved The Hague-based ICJ in May last after Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
"In keeping with the Order of the International Court of Justice of 17 January 2018, India today submitted its reply in the court in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav," the MEA said. It said India remains committed to make all possible efforts to "secure and protect" the rights of Jadhav. Following an order by the ICJ, India had filed its written pleadings in the case on September 13, 2017 and Pakistan submitted its "counter memorial" on December 13 last.
"Today, India filed its Reply to Pakistan's submissions to the court. Pakistan has been given time till July 17 by the court to file its response (Rejoinder)," the MEA said. India has been maintaining that the trial of Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan was "farcical".
In its statement on Tuesday, the MEA reiterated this stand. Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav's sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India. India had approached the ICJ for "egregious" violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in Jadhav's case.
Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the grounds that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.