It’s D-Day for Kulbhushan Jadhav as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague will deliver its verdict on the much-discussed death sentence case. The ICJ verdict will come 10 days after India approached the principal judicial organ of the United Nations demanding ‘immediate suspension’ of the death sentence awarded to Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan. On May 15, both India and Pakistan had presented their cases before the ICJ during a public hearing. The public sitting will take place at 3.30 pm (IST).
“The ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will deliver its Order on the request for the indication of provisional measures made by India in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan), tomorrow on Thursday 18 May 2017. “A public sitting will take place at 12 noon at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, will read the court’s decision,” the international court said in a release, according to PTI report.
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Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav
Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer. He was arrested on March 3 last year. Later, Jadhav was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of ‘espionage and subversive activities’, reports say.
It has been learned that India’s request for consular access to Jadhav was turned down 16 times. India had approached the ICJ on May 8, accusing Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and conducting a ‘farcical trial’ for convicting Jadhav without a “shred of evidence” following which the court had stayed his execution. During its submission to the ICJ on May 15 at a public hearing, India had demanded the immediate annulment of Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ was over.
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India is represented by its ‘Agent’ Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry and the case is argued by its lead attorney Harish Salve. The India team is expected to be present at the time of the verdict.
While India asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy, Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province.
Pakistan told the ICJ the Vienna Convention provisions on consular access did not apply to a spy involved in terror activities. The neighbouring country also had accused India of using the world body as a stage for “political theatre” in the Jadhav case, the reports say.
The ICJ ruling
The ICJ ruling had made it clear that “pending the meeting of the court, the President may call upon the parties to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects.” The International Court of Justice (ICJ) denied permission to Pakistan to play a six-minute”confessional” video of Jadhav which India terms as a statement taken forcible in captivity.
Notably, it is after 18 years that the two neighbours were fighting it out at the ICJ. Last time, Pakistan had moved the ICJ seeking its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.