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  India   All India  17 Jul 2019  ICJ ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav today

ICJ ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav today

THE ASIAN AGE. | SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Published : Jul 17, 2019, 7:33 am IST
Updated : Jul 17, 2019, 7:33 am IST

Pakistani military court had on April 10, 2017, sentenced Jadhav to death on charges of ‘espionage and sabotage’.

Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav (Photo: File)
 Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav (Photo: File)

New Delhi: Anxiety is mounting as both New Delhi and Islamabad await the International Court of Justice verdict at The Hague in the Netherlands that will be pronounced on Wednesday in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav remains in Pakistani custody, with Pakistan continuing to deny India consular access to him.

A Pakistani military court had on April 10, 2017, sentenced Mr Jadhav to death on charges of “espionage and sabotage”, but India has maintained that Mr Jadhav was illegally abducted from Iran where he was working as a businessman. India had on May 8, 2017 taken Mr Jadhav’s case to the ICJ.

On May 18, 2017, in a major victory for India, the ICJ had barred Pakistan from executing Mr Jadhav till the court pronounces its final decision in the case. Islamabad had claimed Mr Jadhav was “apprehended by Pakistan law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan”, and that he had been engaging in “espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising and waging war against Pakistan”. But New Delhi has consistently rubbished these claims as false and baseless. India had argued that Mr Jadhav was “kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy, and was then shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan” on March 3, 2016.

Granting the provisional relief sought by India on May 18, 2017, the ICJ had ordered that “Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the court of all the measures taken in implementation of the present order”. It also said this was legally “binding” on both countries and involve “international legal obligations” of these countries. The ICJ had added that “the mere fact that Mr Jadhav is under a death sentence and might therefore be executed is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India”.

At the ICJ, India had sought the relief “by way of immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded to the accused (Jadhav) ... (and) restraining Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court”. The reliefs sought by India at the ICJ were — immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded to Jadhav, declaring that the sentence of the Pakistani military court was arrived at in brazen defiance of Vienna Convention rights, restraining Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court, and directing it to take steps to annul the decision of the (Pakistani) military court.

At the ICJ, India had contended that it was not informed of Mr Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights. New Delhi also contended that Pakistan was denying India its right of consular access to Mr Jadhav, despite its repeated requests. India had also hired eminent lawyer Harish Salve for presenting India’s case effectively before the ICJ. Mr Salve, who argued the case before the ICJ on India’s behalf, had accepted only a token amount of Re 1 fee to appear in the case in which “India had a lot at stake”.

Tags: pakistani military, kulbhushan jadhav