Kulbhushan Jadhav Case Verdict Highlights: India Expects Pakistan To Grant Consular Access Immediately
In a major victory for India, the International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.
By ordering Pakistan to follow the Vienna Convention this is a complete victory for us. This opens up the possibility of consular access and a retrial in a civilian court: News agency AFP quoted a government official as saying.
If Pakistan wants improved relations it should set him free and give him safe passage back to us: the official said.
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) is an international law that governs diplomatic relations between countries. Refering to the much heated Kulbhushan Jadhav's case, India had argued at the International Court of Justice that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention as it did not provide consular access (diplomatic assistance) to Jadhav before his sentence. The ICJ has today ruled that Pakistan did violate the Vienna Convention.
Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague on Wednesday delivered its verdict in a case relating to Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death for alleged espionage by a Pakistani military court. The ICJ allowed consular access to India for the 49-year-old Jadhav, a retired Indian naval officer, at around 6.30 pm according to the Indian time. In its ruling, the ICJ said that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Indian national, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage and terrorism'.
A bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an 'effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav'. The bench also ruled that Pakistan had violated India's rights to consular visits after his arrest.
Pakistan "deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation", the judges said. The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Pakistan had rejected India's plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its 'spy'.
Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav
• Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is a 49-year-old former Indian Navy officer who was arrested by Pakistani officials on March 3, 2016, on suspicion of espionage and sabotage activities against the country.
• Jadhav was identified in India as the son of Sudhir Jadhav, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police in Mumbai, according to Indian Express.
• Jadhav's uncle, Subhash Jadhav, was in charge of the Bandra police station in 2002 when the hit-and-run case was registered there against Bollywood actor Salman Khan.
• According to sources from his family, Jadhav had sought premature retirement from the Navy in order to start his own business.
The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete.
Watch | ICJ to deliver verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case on July 17
The story so far
• It is alleged by the Pakistani government that Jadhav was arrested in the Pakistani province of Balochistan on charges of terrorism and spying for India's intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing.
• Claiming that Jadhav was an Indian spy, the Pakistani military court sentenced him to death.
• Jadhav was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.
• According to Pakistan, it arrested Jadhav in Balochistan province in 2016.
• However, India continues to maintain that the retired Indian Navy officer was kidnapped from Iran, where he was running a business.
• India has sought annulment of Jadhav’s death sentence and his immediate release since the procedure followed by Pakistan was shrouded in secrecy and lacked credibility.
• Pakistan had rejected India's plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its "spy".
• India moved the ICJ in May 8, 2017 for the "egregious violation" of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to Jadhav.
• A bench of the ICJ, which was set up after World War II to resolve international disputes, on May 18, 2017 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
• A four-day public hearing in the high-profile case took place in February amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that killed 40 CRPF soldiers on February 14.
Watch | Ground report from ICJ
• During the hearing in ICJ, both India and Pakistan submitted their detailed pleas and responses.
• Harish Salve, who was representing India in the case, questioned the functioning of Pakistan's notorious military courts and urged the top UN court to annul Jadhav's death sentence, which is based on an "extracted confession".
• In his submission in the ICJ on the last day of the hearing, Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi said, "India's claim for relief must be dismissed or declared inadmissible."
• Pakistan facilitated a meeting of Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25, 2017.
(With inputs from PTI)
- - - - - - - - - Advertisement - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - Advertisement - - - - - - - - -