Breaking: India Wins Provisional Stay Of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s Sentence At ICJ [Read Order]
The International Court of Justice today provisionally stayed the execution of former Indian Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani Military Court on espionage charges.
The Court dismissed Pakistan’s notion of jurisdiction in the case, and further observed that Mr. Jadhav should have been given consular access as per Vienna Convention. It further rejected the argument put forth by Pakistan that consular access between India and Pakistan should be solely decided on the basis of the 2008 bilateral agreement.
Mr. Jadhav was awarded death sentence last month by the Field General Court Martial in Pakistan, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out. While India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy, it denies that he has any connection with the Government.
The Appeal on Mr. Jadhav’s behalf 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, expressing the desire to meet him, and seeking the Pakistan Government’s intervention for his release.
In the Appeal, India has accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention”. It has contended that it was not informed of Mr. Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest, and that Pakistan failed to inform him of his rights. It further alleges that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the authorities of Pakistan are denying India its right of consular access to Mr. Jadhav, despite its repeated requests.
It has brought to the notice of the Court that Pakistan had subsequently requested assistance in the investigation, and had informed India that consular access would be considered only in the light of India’s response to such request. This linking, India has now contended, is “by itself a serious violation of the Vienna Convention”.
India has thereafter pointed out that Mr. Jadhav’s execution “would cause irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India”. It, hence, demanded an immediate suspension of Mr. Jadhav’s death sentence, submitting that “[w]ithout the provisional measures requested, Pakistan will execute Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav before th[e] Court can consider the merits of India’s claims and India will forever be deprived of the opportunity to vindicate its rights”.
India has further sought a direction to Pakistan to annul the decision of the Military Court. In case Pakistan is unable to annul the decision, it has sought a declaration that the decision is illegal, being violative of international law and treaty rights.
Read the ICJ’s Order here.