Presiding judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia, and judge Xue Hanqin of China, left, take their seats at the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, where India is taking Pakistan to the United Nations' highest court in an attempt to save the life of an Indian naval officer sentenced to death last month by a Pakistani military court after being convicted of espionage.
The refusal to shake hands by the senior Indian government officials is being interpreted as a sign of diplomatic snub to Pakistan following the 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which a terrorist from the Pak-sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) attacked a CRPF convoy killing 44 troopers. The U.N. court past year ordered Pakistan not to execute him pending the outcome of the case in The Hague.
Salve said the proceedings in Pakistani military courts fall far short of global standards.
Without consular access, he says, "India has no information on what happened to Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan".
India asks for the ICJ to declare the Pakistani military trial of Jadhav and the lack of consular access accorded to him unlawful, and to direct his immediate release.
Salve, in his argument, told the ICJ that Pakistan has no substantive defence and is indulging in malicious acts, adding that Islamabad's acts are "an egregious violation of the Vienna Convention".
"Pakistan's story is exclusively based on rhetoric and not facts", he said, adding that Jadhav's continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful.
"There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool".
Pakistan maintains that it would be incompatible with global law for someone sent as a spy/terrorist by a state to be afforded access to officials of that state, as India asserts. India moved the ICJ in May the same year against the verdict.
"Pakistan did not disclose the date of detention as well". No document of Jadhav's trial was given to India. "It mis-states the law, misreads commentaries and relies on material that is not recognised having any precedential value".
India's Counsel Advocate Harish Salve, who had also earlier represented the country in the same case, presented his statement before the court, that mostly appeared to be based on repetition of points raised in previous proceedings. The court's judges will likely take months to issue a ruling and their decisions are final and legally binding.
"If article 36 grants rights of consular access in all cases including where allegations of such kind are leveled, then demanding those can't be an abuse of those rights", he adds.
"Despite repeated attempts by India to sign a treaty for mutual legal assistance, Pakistan has refused". The previous three cases involved Germany, Mexico and Paraguay.
Pakistan will present evidence pertaining to Jadhav's involvement in subversive activities on Tuesday. The story had always been strong on rhetoric and weak on facts.
As hearings opened in the Great Hall of Justice in The Hague, Salve said that Jadhav's court martial "hopelessly fails to satisfy even minimum standards of due process and. should be declared unlawful".
However, India has not been able to prove its claim. Even on he erroneous premise that para 4 applies, Pakistan had not complied with treaty obligations, he contended.
"Pakistan offered to allow Jadhav's family to visit him, the terms were agreed and the meeting was held on December 25, 2017".
"In the present case, review and reconsideration of case would be inadequate".