India's claims over maritime demarcation in southern Bay of Bengal neither have any legal ground nor are supported by the international maritime laws to justify them, said a Bangladeshi maritime expert.
"You can raise your objection over a dispute until the settlement. But when an international court passed its judgement, you no longer can lobby the UN seeking the platform to overlook Bangladesh's rightful possession in the Bay," Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam, secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told The Business Standard.
On 13 September, Bangladesh made a formal objection to the UN secretary-general over certain maritime issues with India that are continuing even after their settlement in 2014.
The issues are related to the baseline and continental shelf used by India in the Bay. Part of the coastal baseline that India has used to demarcate its maritime boundaries falls within Bangladesh's maritime boundaries.
After failing to resolve the issue bilaterally for seven years, Dhaka took it to the UN, informing India's position.
"We told the UN that since the dispute itself no longer exists, there are no scopes for India to raise the objections," Khurshed Alam noted.
In a separate letter to the UN secretary-general, Dhaka also refuted India's claim over the continental shelf.
"The baseline India demarcated in 2009 does not follow the international law since the last three seawards base points are not on the terrain, rather those are at sea. For instance, India's base point 87 is entirely at sea as the nearest Indian coast is approximately 10.5 nautical miles away. Plus, the country's base point 89 is 2.3 miles inside Bangladeshi waters," said the maritime expert.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the base points that determine the baseline must not be at sea.
Khurshed Alam said India must correct its base point 89 since the maritime boundaries were settled in 2014.
The baseline is the line along the coast from which the seaward limits of a state's territorial sea and certain other maritime zones of jurisdiction are measured, such as a state's exclusive economic zone.
Generally, the state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind, within 200 nautical miles from the baseline, according to the UNCLOS.
Bangladesh's base point, that dictates Dhaka's baseline demarcation, falls on Khulna's Putney island.
The continental shelf comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines.
On India's continental shelf claim, Khurshed Alam said Bangladesh submitted its continental shelf demarcation to the UN after a seismic survey.
"Later, an international court demarcated the continental shelf of Bangladesh and India. Complying with the judgement, we corrected our continental shelf and submitted it to the UN last year. But India gave a veto against it too, requesting the UN not to consider our submission," said Khurshed Alam.
The UN has a committee on continental shelf named the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). The committee comprises maritime lawyers and experts to verify shelf claims.
The maritime expert said Dhaka will accept the decision after the verification.
Asked if India can take any measure on its own based on Delhi's claims, he replied, "No."
"The court will consider whose claim is supported by the international laws. They will verify our submission whether the information is correct," he noted.
The expert said Dhaka is also in bilateral talks with Delhi and the neighbours are trying to resolve the issues through negotiations.