Victory For India In Kulbhushan Jadhav Case, Know All About It

Published : 19 July 2019 5:00 AM GMT
Victory For India In Kulbhushan Jadhav Case, Know All About ItImage Credit: Indian Express

In a massive victory for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a 15:1 verdict, directed Pakistan to review the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

ICJ’s Verdict In India’s Favour

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence “should remain suspended until Pakistan effectively reviews and reconsiders the conviction and sentence,” said the UN court, complying with India’s take that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav after his conviction in a closed trial.

India celebrated the favourable verdict by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday, July 17.

Former External Affairs Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj also lauded the verdict hoping it would provide solace to the family members of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The International Court of Justice also rejected some remedies suggested by India, including his release and safe passage to India.

The Story Of Jadhav

Jadhav, 49, a retired Navy officer, was arrested on March 3, 2016, and India was informed about the same on March 25.

Almost a month of his arrest, Pakistan released a video of Jadhav ‘confessing’ to being a spy for RAW. In the video, Jadhav said he was handling various activities in Karachi and Balochistan “at the behest of RAW”, the Indian intelligence agency and that he was still serving the Indian Navy.

He also “confessed” that he was appointed by RAW in 2013, but set up “a base” in Iran’s Chabahar 10 years before that. According to officials in Pakistan, Jadhav had converted his religion to Islam and worked at Gadani disguised as a scrap dealer.

Pakistan claimed that Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan after he entered from Iran. However, India claims that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was running his own business after seeking retirement from the Navy.

The Ministry of External Affairs, India, however, rejected the video calling it manipulated and fake.

Later, in April 2017, he was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism. India demanded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav after he was given a death sentence by a military court.

When Pakistan refused to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, India decided to move the International Court of Justice at The Hague on May 8, 2017.

During the hearing at the ICJ, India pointed out the “egregious violation” of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by refusing New Delhi consular access to Jadhav. The international court, in its verdict, agreed to the same.

The verdict in Jadhav’s case came nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after accepting oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took about two years and two months to complete.

India’s Charges On Pak

India had questioned the death sentence given to Jadhav by Pakistani military court on the basis of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963.

Article 36 of the Vienna Convention states that foreign nationals who are arrested or detained should be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of that arrest.

India blamed Pakistan for not informing India of Jadhav’s detention, not informing Jadhav of his rights under the Vienna Convention and refusing access to Jadhav by consular officers of India.

Pakistan Continues To Remain In Denial

While India celebrated the victory, Pakistan painted a different picture claiming that the ICJ had rejected ‘all remedies sought by India’.

“ICJ rejects India’s plea for Kulbhushan Jadhav’s acquittal,” said the headline in Pakistan Today. The news site also stated that the ICJ verdict says Jadhav’s conviction and death sentence does not violate the Vienna Convention.

Pak daily highlighted that the ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav does not grant his release.

“The ICJ said that even though it had found Pakistan in violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), it is not the conviction and sentence of Mr Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention”, the news organisation said.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Jadhav would remain in Pakistan and referred to ICJ’s verdict as a victory for Pakistan.

International Media Coverage

International Media reports focused on ICJ’s directive to Pakistan to review its death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The Washington Post story on the judgment read: “Alleged Indian spy on death row in Pakistan wins a reprieve from execution”.

The UN News headline read: “World Court Orders Review of Pakistan Death Sentence for Indian Convicted of Spying.”

World Court’s Orders

The World Court has asked Pakistan to inform Jadhav “without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him”. The ICJ also directed Pakistan to review how the violation of the Vienna Convention affected the trial as per its justice system.

“The court finally considered that a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the useful review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr.Jadhav,” read a statement issued by ICJ.

The ICJ’s verdict compels Pakistan to abide by the decision in the Kulbhushan Jadhav’s due process as it rejected most of Pakistan’s arguments by a vote of 15-1. The ICJ said Pakistan had breached international law by denying Jadhav consular access and legal representation.

Also Read: Kerala: Police Commissioner Merin Joseph Travels To Saudi Arabia & Brings Back Child Rape Accused

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