India and Pakistan crossed swords at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Kulbhushan Jadhav's case with New Delhi demanding the immediate suspension of his death sentence and Islamabad accusing it of using the world body as a stage for "political theatre" through a "misconceived" plea. 

The two neighbours - who last faced off at the ICJ 18 years ago when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft -- India took the Jadhav case to the world court, accusing Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and conducting a "farcical trial" for convicting Jadhav without a "shred of evidence".

After hearing the arguments of the two sides, the court said it would issue its order on India's request for provisional measures "as soon as possible". "The date on which this order will be delivered at a public sitting will be duly communicated to the parties," the court said. 

Interestingly, apparently, there were some who were unhappy with how lead attorney Harish Salve was arguing the case. One Sanjeev Goyal, in particular, tweeted out that India could have got any good lawyer for a far lesser fee than what Salve must have charged for fighting the case. 

Perhaps he wasn't expecting the reply he got. Harish Salve has charged Re 1 as fee, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the nation in her reply. "Not fair. #HarishSalve has charged us Rs. 1/- as his fee for this case (sic)," Swaraj tweeted.

India made a forceful submission as the ICJ began hearing the case of the 46-year-old former Navy officer who was arrested on March 3 last year and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities. 

"Jadhav has not got the right to get proper legal assistance and the right to consular access. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a decision is passed," joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Deepak Mittal told the court in his opening remarks. 

Representing India, lead attorney Salve said, "The execution of the death sentence cannot be done while this court is hearing the appeal. Else, it will be a violation of the Vienna Convention." 

Following India's arguments, Pakistan, in its submission before the UN's highest judicial body, said India's application on Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities last month, was "unnecessary and misconceived" and must be dismissed. 

India has seen it fit to use the International Court of Justice as a stage for "political theatre" but "we will not respond in kind", Mohammad Faisal of the Pakistan Foreign Office said in his opening remarks in response to India's submissions earlier in the day. 

Jadhav, the latest flash point in the tensions between Pakistan and India, was sentenced last month. On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 9, the highest court in the UN gave Jadhav a lease of life. 

India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. India denies that he has any connection with the government.