International Court of Justice Decides in India's Favour  

ICJ Hague yesterday decided in favour of India on the Atlantique issue and confirmed that the case is beyond its jurisdiction. It may be recalled that on 10 Aug 99 as the last flash of the Kargil war, two MIGs-21 of IAF with their R-60 missiles had downed one maritime ASW Atlantique aircraft of Pakistan Navy, for crossing into the Indian air-space in the Rann of Kutch area, disregarding the ground station’s and MIGs’ warnings. The Atlantique was able to get back into Pakistani air-space before hitting the land but its debris was found both within Indian and Pakistani territory giving enough proof that it was snooping over Indian air-space. All 16 naval personnel including the crew were killed. The Atlantique is equipped with radars, EW equipment, torpedoes and Exocet missiles to attack submarines at sea but is a sitting duck for fighter planes. There is a mutual agreement between India and Pakistan to remain outside 8 km distance from each others' airspace, but this was not observed during Kargil War.

Pakistan had filed for a claim of US$ 60 million as damages against India with ICJ. The credit for this legal and moral victory fully goes to India's Attorney General Soli Sorabjee whose argument that as both Pakistan and India are members of the Commonwealth, the case could not be tried at ICJ, was upheld 14 to 2 (Pakistan and Jordan) by the learned judges. IDC's kudos to him.


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