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Before Kulbhushan Jadhav’s Case, India Appeared Before the ICJ in 5 Cases; 3 of These Were Decided in Our Favour

Out of the five cases, three were against Pakistan, one was against the Marshall Islands and one was against Portugal.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on Wednesday, July 17 that Pakistan should stay the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav and him consular access as per the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, was hailed across the country.

Before the Jadhav case was initiated at the ICJ at Hague, India has been a party to five other cases before the world court. Three of these cases were against Pakistan, one against Marshall Islands and one against Portugal.

Here is a list of all of the cases and the outcome therein:

Right of Passage over Indian Territory case (India vs Portugal)

After the 1954 ouster of Portuguese authorities from Dadra and Nagra Haveli, Portugal filed a case before the ICJ that it has right of passage to the enclaves and between one enclave and another. Portugal argued that India was in violation of its obligations under international law when it denied the said passage to Portuguese authorities in 1954.

However, while the court rejected India’s objection that the court did not have jurisdiction, it ruled that India had not violated its obligations and that while Portugal had the right of passage in 1954, the same did not extend to armed forces, armed police, arms and ammunition.

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Appeal Relating to the Jurisdiction of the ICAO Council (India v. Pakistan)

In 1971, following the incident of diversion of the diversion of an Indian aircraft to Pakistan, India suspended overflights of Pakistan carriers in Indian airspace. Pakistan brought a complaint against India before the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), claiming that India had violated provisions of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and the International Air Services Transport Agreement. India raised preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Council, but after these objections were rejected, India filed an appeal before the ICJ.

The Court dismissed Pakistan’s objections to jurisdiction of the court, and then ruled that the Council did have jurisdiction to hear the matter brought before it by Pakistan and dismissed India’s appeal before it.

Trial of Pakistani Prisoners of War (Pakistan v. India)

Following the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War between India and Pakistan, India proposed to hand over 195 prisoners of war (POWs) to Bangladesh which was reported to be intending to try them for crimes against humanity and genocide. Pakistan approached the ICJ against India’s move.

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India argued that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter. However, Pakistan requested the court proceedings to be postponed in light of the upcoming negotiations with India. Pakistan then requested the discontinuance of the case, before written pleadings had been submitted before the court.

Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. India)

In 2014, Marshall Islands initiated separate proceedings at the ICJ against seven nuclear nations including India, arguing that they were in contravention of their obligation to relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.

Marshall Islands, which had ratified the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), argued that even though India was not a signatory to the same, certain obligations under the treaty were still applicable to the latter.

India objected to the world court having jurisdiction in the matter, arguing that no dispute had arisen since India was not a party to the NPT. The court accepted India’s argument and dismissed the matter without proceeding to the merits of the case

Aerial Incident of 10 August 1999 (Pakistan v. India)

On 10 August 1999, a maritime patrol aircraft of the Pakistan Navy was shot down by an Indian Air Force fighter over the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, on the border between the two countries. All 16 people on board aircraft were killed.

Pakistan filed an application before the ICJ. India filed preliminary objection to the court having jurisdiction in the matter. The court accepted India’s argument that there was no such treaty between India and Pakistan wherein the dispute could arise. Pakistan’s argument, that the Simla Accord of 1972 provided the basis for jurisdiction, was rejected. The case was dismissed.

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