Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ to decide his fate in The Hague

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Published: July 17, 2019 5:48:38 PM

India has always been accused by Pakistan of supporting groups in Balochistan that were working against the State.

Jadhav’s arrest at the time almost coincided with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan. (PTI File photo)Jadhav’s arrest at the time almost coincided with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan. (PTI File photo)

The International Court of Justice at The Hague will hold a public sitting at later in the Wednesday evening where it will read out the verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. India’s lead counsel is Harish Salve on the Jadhav case.

Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?

He is an Indian national and was sentenced to death by the military court of Pakistan in 2017 on charges of terrorism and spying. He was purportedly “arrested” on 3 March 2016, and three weeks later the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad was informed of the arrest. Jadhav’s arrest at the time almost coincided with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan.

However, India while denying that he was a spy has clarified that he was a former Indian Navy officer who has turned into a businessman and was abducted from Iran, and was taken to Pakistan illegally and sentenced.

What is the case?

Before 2017, April, no one knew anything about who Jadhav was. It all changed when he was sentenced to death by Pakistan, as the neighboring country accused him of being an operative of Research & Analysis Wing. It also claimed that he was arrested from Balochistan region.

India has always been accused by Pakistan of supporting groups in Balochistan that were working against the State.

India denied all these charges and pointed out that he was picked up from Iran where he was for business. And accused that country of carrying out a sham case as well as flouting international law by denying consular access to the accused.

While claiming that was not obligated to allow access as he was accused of terrorism, Pakistan did not deny the charge.

India while challenging Pakistan’s military court’s ability to pass a judgment stated that it had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963, as it did not allow consular access to Jadhav.

Thereafter, India moved the ICJ at The Hague, Netherlands. As has been reported earlier, on May 9, 2017, a stay on his death sentence was ordered by the ICJ and Pakistan was asked not to execute him until it fully heard the matter.

Since the last two years, the ICJ has heard arguments of both countries and soon the final verdict is expected to be delivered which will have an implication of the future of the India-Pakistan relations.

During a public sitting scheduled for late evening today, the President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf will read out the verdict. In February this year, a 15-member bench of ICJ which was led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan.

Are the rulings obligatory?

Yes, the rulings of ICJ are obligatory; often the verdicts are not always accepted by member states.

What is expected?

In case the ICJ orders Pakistan to release Jadhav, most likely Islamabad is expected to obstruct this verdict as it would erode the basis of its case.

The ICJ might ask Pakistan to try Jadhav in a ‘civilian’ court with consular access and this could be a victory for India, opine experts.

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