The International Court of Justice today pronounced its ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav. The UN court stayed the execution of Jadhav and asked Pakistan to reconsider the conviction and sentencing.
The court added that Pakistan did not inform Jadhav about his rights. “Pakistan deprived 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,” the court noted.
Pakistan informed India about Jadhav’s arrest three weeks after he was detained.
The verdict was 15:1 in favour of India, and the lone dissenter was a Pakistani judge. China too supported India in this regard.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi welcomed the judgement.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We note that the Court has directed that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him…We expect Pakistan to implement the directive immediately.”
However, the court refused to annul Jadhav’s death sentence or order his release and safe passage to India.
Which means that the 49 year old has to undergo trial once again. Now, it would be left to Pakistan to decide if they would trial Jadhav in a civil court or a military court.
India’s advocate Harish Salve, at the ICJ said, “If the ICJ verdict is disobeyed, we can take measures including by ways including sanctions. I’m sure Pakistan won’t go that way. At least I hope so… If the trial by Pakistan isn’t fair, we can go back to ICJ.”
Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer who is on a death row in Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism after he was arrested by Pakistan in March 2016.
The Indian Government have challenged the “farcical trial” that Kulbhushan Jadhav was put through on the basis of what it claims was an extracted confession, and has asked the world court to order Pakistan to annul the sentence and allow India consular access.
Pakistan claims that its security forces had arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he entered the country from Iran. However, India asserted that he was kidnapped from Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.