New Delhi: The Indian government on Friday dismissed the claims made by Pakistan as per which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has turned down New Delhi's plea to give it six months of time to file its plea in the ongoing Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Gopal Baglay confirmed that the matter was heard by the ICJ on June 8, but added that it was not a full seating of the court, which took place earlier.
He said it was just that the president of the ICJ met the representative of both India and Pakistan to discuss the timeline of the case.
"What transpired in the meeting was the timelines which were discussed and as a result of these timelines or discussion, we submitted to the court for an early and expeditious proceeding in the matter and also pointed out a precedence of a case where four months had been given to one of the parties to submit its pleadings which is called the memorial," Baglay said.
Baglay said that after the submission by both countries in the regard to the timeline, the court directed India to submit its memorial in September 13 this year and have asked Pakistan to submit its counter-memorial by December 13, 2017.
"This is the factual situation. I don't think the report is being quoted accurately and reflected either in the submission of India or the decision of the court," he said.
Baglay further said that India itself asked for four months of time and after the submission of memorial by both the countries, the court will take decision on the same.
"Whether the hearing will take place in January or not, that is the decision the court will take after assessing both the memorial and counter memorial. At this stage, it is premature to say when the hearing will take place," he added.
Pakistan has claimed that India's request to give it six months time to file its plea was turned down by the ICJ.
Pak's Attorney General (AG) Ashtar Ausaf claimed, "India asked the ICJ to offer it time till December to file pleadings in the Jadhav case, however, the court has dismissed their request. The ICJ has written a letter to Pakistan informing us of their decision."
"India had adopted the stance that the matter was one of life and death, but Pakistan had stated that the ICJ is not a court of appeals."
"The ICJ is supposed to conclude whether or not Jadhav can receive consular access, for which a time period of two to three months is more than enough to file a response,? he said.
Dawn reported that sources privy to the information noted that Pakistan will submit its response to the ICJ in December, while the court proceedings will begin in January 2018.
In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench at the The Hague-based ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.
India moved the ICJ against the death penalty on May 8. The next day, the global court stayed the sentence as a provisional measure.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested him from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.