THE HAGUE: The International Court of Justice has announced its verdict in spy Kulbhushan Jadhav case, pronouncing that Pakistan should not execute Jadhav until final decision of the court.
“Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings,” said the court’s president Ronny Abraham.
He also ordered Pakistan to inform the tribunal that it has implemented the decision.
ICJ says Jadhav should have been given consular assistance under Vienna Convention.
The ICJ is the UN court for resolving disputes between nations. However, it has no means to enforce its rulings and they have occasionally been ignored.
The court considers that the alleged failure by Pak to provide requisite consular assistance as well as alleged failure to allow communication appear to be falling under the provisions of Vienna Convention.
“150 day period for clemency given by Pakistan which ends in August suggests execution can happen immediately thereafter:” ICJ
The ICJ ruled it had prima facie jurisdiction to take up the case of Jadhav.
Outlining the reasons for its decision, Abraham said Pakistan had “given no assurance” Jadhav would not be executed before the court delivered its final decision.
“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,” he added. Therefore the court was “satisfied” of the “urgency” of the case.
At The Hague, India had demanded immediate suspension of Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ concludes.
India approached the ICJ on May 8 and accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by persistently denying consular access to Jadhav and conducting a “farcical trial” without an evidence”.
The hearing of the case was held on May 15, where India and Pakistan presented their arguments in the case pertaining to the death sentence awarded to the Indian spy in Pakistan.
India had instituted proceedings against Pakistan, accusing Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations” in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.
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. It further alleged 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.
The ICJ was set up in 1945 to rule on disputes between nations in accordance with international law. The tribunal has not yet decided whether it has jurisdiction to hear India’s case, and a final ruling could take months, if not years.
WATCH: Full ICJ verdict
The case background
Pakistani security agencies on March 24, 2016 apprehended an ‘on-duty RAW agent’ from Balochistan. The suspect was said to be an officer of the Indian navy working for the covert agency to destabilize Pakistan.
The operative had contacts with banned organizations and was working on plans to break Karachi and Balochistan away from Pakistan, and to sabotage the billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
On March 25, a day after the arrest, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian man arrested from Balochistan has no connection with the government, however, admitted that Kulbhushan Yadav is a former officer of the Indian navy.
“He (Jadhav) acquired premature retirement from the Indian navy and since then the government has nothing to do with him,” said Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, requesting Pakistan to grant counsellor access to the ‘arrested Indian citizen’.
‘Jadhav caught during terror mission’
Hailing from Mumbai, Kulbhushan Jadhav, in his confessional video statement soon after his arrest, said that he joined Indian Defence Academy in 1987 before being commissioned in Indian navy in 1991.
In contrast with New Delhi’s claim, he says, “I am still a serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement in 2022”.
The on-duty spy went on to say that he commenced intelligence operations by 2002 and established a small business in Chabahar, Iran in 2003 as a cover-up. He admitted to have visited Karachi undetected in 2003 and 2004.
“I am basically the man for Mr Anil Kumar Gupta who is the joint secretary of RAW and his contacts in Pakistan, especially in the Baloch student organization,” he confessed in the video.
The operative said that he was directed to meet Baloch insurgents and conduct subversive activities with their collaboration, which resulted in the ‘killing or injuring of Pakistani citizens’.
WATCH: Criminal confession of Jadhav