ICJ Verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: In a huge diplomatic victory for India over Pakistan, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in 15-1 verdict, on Wednesday asked Islamabad to grant consular access to New Delhi to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The world court also asked Pakistan to put on hold Jadhav’s execution sentence. A Pakistani military court had awarded death sentence to Jadhav on charges of terrorism and espionage.
The ICJ in its order found that it has the jurisdiction on the basis of Article 1 of the Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April, 1963. And it has rejected the objections by Pakistan to the admissibility of the application and finds that the application of India is admissible.
The World Court stated that Jadhav’s death sentence should remain suspended until Pakistan effectively reviews and reconsiders the conviction/sentence in light of Pakistan’s breach of Art 36(1) i.e. denial of consular access and notification.
Pakistan has claimed that Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was involved in espionage and assisting terror activities on its soil, a charge which has been rebuked by India repeatedly.
Jadhav, 49, was pronounced guilty in April, 2017 following a closed-door hearing. India moved the ICJ on May 18, 2017 lodging its protest against the Pakistan military court’s verdict. India asserted that the decision was ‘egregious violation’ of the provisions of the Vienna Convention. During the hearing in the ICJ, Pakistan claimed that Jadhav was arrested from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he allegedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped by Pakistani forces from Iran where he had started a business after retiring from the Navy.