Big Win For India At ICJ: Kulbhushan Jadhav's Death Sentence To Remain Suspended Till Pakistan Reviews & Reconsiders Conviction; India To Get Consular Access

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday pronounced the verdict in the high-profile Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

Written By Monica Aggarwal | Mumbai | Updated On:

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday pronounced its verdict in the high-profile Kulbhushan Jadhav case, in which the world court gave a big win to India and struck a hammerblow to Pakistan. In the verdict, the ICJ has said that Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence should remain suspended until Pakistan effectively reviews and reconsiders the conviction in light of its multiple breaches of the Vienna Convention. 

In a significant victory for India, by fifteen votes to one (unanimously, given that the one opposing judge was from Pakistan and appointed ad-hoc on account of there being an Indian judge on the bench), the court also laid into Pakistan's procedure in the entire matter and said that Pakistan is under obligation to inform Kulbhushan Jadhav of his rights without further delay and to provide Indian consular officers access to him. 

The international court further found that Pakistan is under an obligation to provide, by means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav so as to ensure that full weight is given to the effect of the violation of the rights set forth in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. 

The Court also rejected the objections by Pakistan to the admissibility of India's application and found that India's application was admissible.

Here are the key takeaways from the ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case:

1. Unanimously siding with India - that ICJ has jurisdiction in the matter.

2. 15 judges to 1 - That India's application to take the case to the ICJ is applicable

3. 15-1 - That Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by not informing Kulbhushan Jadhav of his rights

4. 15-1 - That Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by not informing India of the detention of Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately

5. 15-1 - That Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by depriving India the right to communicate with Jadhav

6. 15-1 - That Pakistan is obligated to provide consular access to India and inform Jadhav of his rights

7. 15-1 - That Pakistan must provide effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav's conviction and sentence

8. 15-1 - Declares a stay of Jadhav's execution

The case pertains to 49-year-old retired Indian Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who was kidnapped by Pakistan from Iran, and then subsequently, sentenced to death by Pakistan military court on "espionage and terrorism" charges after a closed and sham trial in April 2017. Challenging the death sentence, India instituted proceedings in the ICJ on 8 May 2017, against egregious violations by Pakistan of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 in the matter of his arrest, detention and trial. This led to the sentence of Jadhav being stayed.

READ | ICJ To Deliver Kulbhushan Jadhav Verdict. Here's All You Need To Know About The High-profile Case

In its key arguments in the case, India had argued that Jadhav's arrest which took place on 3 March 2016 violated two international treaties - The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights -  under which Pakistan did not inform India of Jadhav's arrest immediately and also declined consular access to him. India has also stated that the use of military courts to try a civilian like Kulbhushan Jadhav violated also process.

Meanwhile, Pakistan had argued that its military arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, even as India has maintained that the retired Indian Navy Officer was kidnapped from Iran where he had business dealings following his retirement. Pakistan has on multiple occasions shared heavily edited 'confession' videos of Jadhav, where the edits are evident and so is the scripted nature of what Kulbhushan Jadhav is saying.

Earlier in February, a four-day public hearing took place amid the tensions between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack perpetrated by Pakistan-based JeM outfit in which 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred on February 14. 

READ | Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: Here Are India's Arguments Against Pakistan's Sham, Ahead Of ICJ's Big Verdict

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