Hague, July 17: In a major victory for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday ordered Pakistan not to execute former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and asked it to reconsider the sentence awarded to him by a military court. The ICJ asked also directed Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav, upholding India's position that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention in this regard by denying him this right.
Jadhav, an Indian naval officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017 for alleged espionage. Despite India's repeated requests, Pakistan denied him consular access. Pakistan "deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation", judges at the ICJ said. ICJ Verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: Highlights of Judgment.
The ICJ, in its judgement, said that Jadhav’s death sentence should remain suspended until Pakistan effectively reviews and reconsiders the conviction/sentence in light of Pakistan’s breach of Art 36(1) i.e. denial of consular access and notification. "A continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav," judges said.
Full text of ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed ICJ's verdict to put on hold the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav in an alleged espionage case, saying "truth and justice" have prevailed. "We welcome today's verdict in the ICJ. Truth and justice have prevailed. Congratulations to the ICJ for a verdict based on extensive study of facts. I am sure Kulbhushan Jadhav will get justice. Our government will always work for the safety and welfare of every Indian," Modi tweeted.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged "espionage and terrorism" in April 2017. The ICJ had in May 2017 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the case was adjudicated on.