Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: ICJ rules in favor of India & confirms Jadhav’s right for consular access

Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: ICJ rules in favor of India & confirms Jadhav’s right for consular access

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday pronounced its verdict in the high-profile Kulbhushan Jadhav case. The ICJ granted consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The death penalty of Jadhav to remain suspended. The UN court asked Pakistan to review Jadhav’s conviction. The international court ruling in favor of India by 15 votes to one, granted consular access to the former Indian Naval officer.

However, the UN court rejected India’s argument to nullify the decision of the Pakistan Military court of Jadhav’s conviction. In the plea filed in the international court, India sought the release of Jadhav and his safe passage to India. The verdict was read out at a public sitting of the UN court in The Hague.

The President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf read out the verdict during a public sitting at 3 pm (6.30 pm IST) on Wednesday at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

The verdict in the case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete. On Tuesday, Pakistan’s legal team, headed by Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan reached The Hague in the Netherlands, where the ICJ is headquartered.

Case Background:

Kulbhushan, the 49-year-old Indian national is a retired Indian Navy officer whose death sentence by a Pakistani military court based on an “extracted confession” has been questioned by India.

India had then approached the ICJ against Pakistan “for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963” in the matter. According to reports, India has contended that it had not been informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan had failed to inform the accused of his rights. India further alleged that in violation of the Vienna Convention the authorities of Pakistan had denied India its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests.

India Says Kulbhushan Jadhav Kidnapped from Iran:

India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy”.

However, Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran.