The Times of India – International court stays Pakistan’s order to execute Kulbhushan Jadhav

New Delhi, 10 May 2017. In a huge relief for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has stayed the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistan military court.

This was after India instituted proceedings against Pakistan at the court accusing Islamabad of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations” in the detention and trial of Jadhav.

“I have spoken to the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Article 74 paragraph 4 of Rules of Court,” tweeted foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.

Jadhav’s mother had earlier applied for a visa to be able to visit Pakistan and appeal against his death sentence but Islamabad has not yet responded to the request.

India has so far rarely approached ICJ in disputes with Pakistan, fearing that any such move could allow Islamabad to seek intervention of the same court in other bilateral disputes. In the Saurabh Kalia case, the government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying ICJ had no jurisdiction over the Kalia issue.

It remains to be seen how Pakistan reacts as its high commissioner Abdul Basit has already declared, in an interview to TOI, that Pakistan’s domestic laws will take precedence over any international convention in Jadhav’s case.

India had sought relief by way of suspension of the sentence of death awarded to Jadhav, who is accused of promoting terrorism, said the ICJ. India had stated that the sentence of the military court was in brazen defiance of the Vienna Convention rights under Article 36 and elementary human rights of an accused.

It alleged Pakistan authorities are denying India its right of consular access to Jadhav despite its repeated requests. The applicant also points out that it learned about the death sentence against Jadhav from a press release.

India submits that it has information that Jadhav was ‘kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy, and was then shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan’ on 3 March 2016, and that the Indian authorities were notified of that arrest on 25 March 2016,” said the ICJ in a press statement before it stayed the death sentence.


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