International Court of Justice stays Kulbhushan Jadhav’s hanging

Kulbhushan JadhavThe International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 9 May 2017 stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying. The Hague-based ICJ said Pakistan must take all necessary measures to ensure that Jadhav is not executed. It also directed Pakistan to inform it about the action taken.

ICJ’s President Judge Ronny Abraham in his letter to the Pakistani Government has written, “In my capacity as president of the court, and exercising powers conferred upon me under Article 74, paragraph 4, of the rules of the court, I call upon Your Excellency’s Government, pending the court’s decision on [India’s] request for the indication of provisional measures, to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make on this request to have its appropriate effects”.

ICJ passed the official order a day after India approached the court against the death sentence that was given to Jadhav, who is a former naval officer. India, in its appeal, had said Pakistan was denying consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests, which is a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Besides, India also informed the court that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, the country where he was involved in business activities after he retired from the Indian Navy.

Pakistan, however, claims to have arrested him from Balochistan. India had also said, it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights. After the ICJ order, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and informed her about the development. Below is the tweet message of Sushma Swaraj.

46-year old Jadhav was given death sentence in April 2017 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 execution was carried out. This stay on the hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav by the International Court of Justice can be termed as a major diplomatic win of India over Pakistan and its process of justice.

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