The International Court of Justice has stayed the hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav, according to reports. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of ‘spying’. In a relief for Jadhav, Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) has delivered order. The order comes after India approached ICJ against the death sentence awarded by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial last month, as per a PTI report. Earlier, India had reacted strongly to the last month’s death sentence. But this order is likely to give India a shot in the arm. Pakistan claimed its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. Pakistan also claimed that he was ‘a serving officer in the Indian Navy.’ Jadhav was sentenced to death for “espionage and subversive activities”, PTI report says.
Here is what we know so far
Senior advocate Harish Salve was representing India before the International Court of Justice in the case, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj says.
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Swaraj said that she has spoken to the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav. “I have spoken to the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Article 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court,” she tweeted. “Mr. Harish Salve, Senior Advocate is representing India before International Court of Justice in the #KulbhushanJadhav case,” she said in a series of tweet.
It has been learned that India, in its appeal to the ICJ, accused Pakistan of ‘egregious’ violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. India asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016, as per PTI report.
“Referring to ‘the extreme gravity and immediacy of the threat that authorities in Pakistan will execute an Indian citizen in violation of obligations Pakistan owes to India’, India urges the Court to deliver an order indicating provisional measures immediately, ‘without waiting for an oral hearing’,” India’s appeal said.
Notably, ICJ President Ronny Abraham has reportedly written a letter to Pakistan government, asking it to act in such a way which would enable the implementation of any order the ICJ may issue in the case.
“India claims that ‘linking assistance to the investigation process to the grant(ing) of consular access was by itself a serious violation of the Vienna Convention’,” the ICJ release said. The ICJ has added that India urged it to restrain Pakistan from carrying out the death sentence, and direct Islamabad to take steps to annul the decision of the military court, as per PTI report.
India has acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government. India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav’s mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.
The appeal on behalf of Jadhav was given last month to Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua by Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, who also handed over a petition by Jadhav’s mother seeking the Pakistan government’s intervention for his release and expressing the desire to meet him.