**New Delhi** Senior lawyer Harish Salve, who fought India’s case at the International Court of Justice against the death penalty to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, said on Thursday that he had anticipated New Delhi’s victory, and added the ruling was “binding” on Islamabad.
“As a lawyer, 40 years under the belt, you get a feel of how judges are reacting, and I felt positive energy when I was arguing. Judges were sort of connecting. It was gratifying I did not see that connection when the other side (Pakistan lawyer) was arguing,” Salve told TimesNow news channel.
Salve said India did not commit the mistake that Pakistan did by “ensuring that the court did not feel that we were dragging them into some kind of violence, slug-fest between India and Pakistan”
“We kept our argument straight, narrow; we made our points forcefully but kept within confinement of international law. Pakistan tried to bring in passport, video and all that. The result is there for everyone to see,” Salve said.
Salve said the ICJ’s verdict was binding on Pakistan.
“The court has made it very clear that our decision is binding. ‘You report back to us measures you are taking. We are monitoring you’,” Salve said.
Salve said that consular access to Jadhav would be given now, but he has asked for “restitution”.
“There have been cases when the court said you have to annul the process and go back. That is called a principle of restitution. That is what we are fighting for. Can we take it to another level, saying in today’s circumstances that you have to release the man?” Salve said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had tweeted her gratitude to Salve after India’s victory. “We are grateful to Mr. Harish Salve for presenting India’s case so effectively before ICJ,” she posted.