In a major diplomatic win for India at the ICJ, the world court put the death sentence to Jadhav on hold and asked Pakistan for a review.
The court also rapped Pakistan for violation of the Vienna Convention on consular relations. It asked Pakistan to provide consular access for Jadhav to India.
The court said, “A continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.”
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The court said 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) ie denial of consular access and notification.
The court pronounced its verdict on the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.
Last week, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal had said that while his country cannot predict the court’s decision, it has contested the case to best of its abilities.
Pakistan claims that its security forces had arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he entered the country from Iran. While, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran, where he had held business interests after retiring from the Navy.
A month after Jadhav was sentenced to death in April 2017, India dragged Pakistan to the ICJ on charges of denying consular access to the 49-year-old retired Navy officer and orchestrating a ‘farcical trial’ in order to nail him. Pakistan defended its action of denying consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav by terming it as a ploy by the Indian government to procure information gathered by its ‘spy’.
Meanwhile, the ICJ had held a four-day public hearing in the high-profile case in February amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the death of 40 CRPF soldiers in the Pulwama terror attack.
Advocate Harish Salve, who represented India in the case, questioned the functioning of Pakistan’s notorious military courts and urged the ICJ to annul the death sentence awarded to Jadhav.
Despite not granting consular access to Jadhav, on December 25th, 2017, Pakistan had permitted a meeting with his wife and mother in Islamabad.