ICJ stays death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav, requests consular access

The international Court of Justice (ICJ) today stayed the execution of alleged RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav till final order and ordered Pakistan to provide consular access to him.

‘Pakistan must take all measures to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final verdict of International Court of Justice’ read the order.

The order pronounced by Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court noted that the case of Jadhav came under its jurisdiction over Vienna Convention thus refuting Pakistan’s request, challenging its domain.

The international court accepted the application of India seeking rights for Jadhav under the article 36 paragraph 1 of Vienna convention.

Moreover, the court also accepted the request regarding provisional measures to Jadhav.

The order stated that the 2008 Indo-Pak agreement doesn’t prevent the ICJ from exercising jurisdiction at this stage.

“India could not satisfy ICJ over the merit of the case. Access to Jadhav is not possible under Vienna Convention. Vienna Convention does not apply to persons suspected of espionage.” He added.

“Court considers it a failure on the part of Pakistan to present counselors to Jhadav,” the president said. Abraham stated that a link existed between the rights invoked by India and the provisional measures being sought by the state.

The UN’s top court had reserved the order on Monday regarding the landmark case that would decide the nature of relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

India had moved court hurriedly in a bid to rescue Jadhav who was awarded death sentence by a Pakistani Field General Court Martial (FGCM) last month.

After 18 years, India and Pakistan confronted each other in the world court. India has stayed away from the international court and it is only the second time after 1971 that New Delhi has sought the intervention of the judicial arm of the United Nations against Pakistan.

On the other hand, Pakistan challenged the jurisdiction of the ICJ to hear the Indian application regarding the conviction of spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan.

Presenting its arguments before the court, Pakistan maintained that the ICJ did not have jurisdiction to hear the Indian application, Radio Pakistan reported.

Jadhav, according to Pakistani authorities, was arrested on March 3, 2016, through a counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan’s Mashkel area for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan. He was sentenced to death by the FGCM in April this year.

India had termed the death sentence awarded to Jadhav “an act of premeditated murder,” while maintaining that Jadhav was a retired officer of the Indian Navy.

India has further claimed that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in a business undertaking.

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