Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence case verdict at ICJ: Within 10 days of India approaching the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for immediate suspension of the death sentence awarded to former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court, the world court has pronounced its judgement after hearing both sides earlier this week.
The ICJ on Thursday unianimously stayed the impending hanging of Jadhav in Pakistan. While reading out the ICJ verdict on initial hearing in the case, Justice Ronny Abraham made following observations.
Justice Abraham said that the ICJ has overruled Pakistan’s objection that the UN court had no jurisdiction in the case. ICJ accepted India’s concerns on Jadhav case and refused to accept Pakistan’s claims against Jadhav and India.
Justice Abraham said that both parties are bound by the Vienna Convention. The world court accepted India’s demand for consular access to Jadhav. The Court said that Jadhav cannot be executed by Pakistan until it delivers the final decision in the case. Justice Abraham said that Pakistan shall take all measures to assure that Jadhav is not executed until the final decision in the case is announced by the ICJ.
The final verdict would be announced in August this year.
Jadhav, an Indian Navy Officer-turned-businessman, was kidnapped from Iran and later arrested by Pakistan on March 3, 2016 on alleged charges of “espionage and subversive activities”. He was sentenced to death by Pakistan on April 10 after a secret trial. Pakistan refused to accept India’s request to grant her consular access to Jadhav on 16 occasions. Moreover, Islamabad has also not provided any concrete proof against Jadhav to the world court, or India.
Established by the UN Charter in June 1945, the ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The ICJ performs two roles: a) In accordance with international law, it settles legal disputes submitted to it by states. The ICJ judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned. b) ICJ gives advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system. The ICJ is a court open only to States for contentious proceedings, and to certain organs and institutions of the United Nations system for advisory proceedings.
On May 8, India had approached the ICJ for immediate suspension of death sentence awarded to Jadhav. India informed the court that Pakistan violated Vienna convention on consular access.
India had told the ICJ that immediate steps must be taken to stop Pakistan’s from carrying out the death sentence of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. Demanding immediate suspension of Jadhav’s death sentence, New Delhi expressed fear that Islamabad might execute the formal Naval officer even before the hearing of the ICJ was over. On its part, Pakistan told ICJ that the provisions of Vienna Convention on consular access were not applicable for a ‘spy’. It also accused India of using the international body for political theatrics.