ICJ accepts India's plea, asks Pakistan not to execute Jadhav

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 19, 2017

Kulbhushan Jadhav gained a temporary reprieve on Thursday as the International Court of Justice ordered Pakistan not to execute the former Indian Navy officer convicted of alleged espionage and terrorism, rejecting Islamabad's argument that the UN's top legal body did not have jurisdiction in the case.

Rejecting Pakistan's argument that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter, ICJ said that Pakistan must take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed before the final settlement of the case at the global court.

The U.N. court ruled unanimously that Pakistan shouldn't carry out the death penalty on Kulbhushan Jadhav pending the outcome of a case filed by India alleging that Pakistan breached Jadhav's right to consular assistance following his arrest previous year.

New Delhi has secured a temporary reprieve for Kulbhushan Jadhav with the United Nations' principal judicial organ ordering Pakistan to take all measures to ensure that the Indian national is not executed before the court gives its final judgment.

"The decision to stay Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution pending ICJ hearing is unanimous", Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, said.

Hailing the verdict, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said it is a victory for India's stand.

Pakistan claims that it arrested Jadhav in Balochistan province previous year and accused him of being a spy. Moreover, Judge Bhandari emphasszes that Pakistan's denial of consular access has determined a situation in which India has no direct knowledge of the charges against Jadhav, as well as of the proceedings against him in the Pakistani military court. India stated that it had been repeatedly denied consular access to Jadhav. It remains to be seen whether pakistan obliges the ICJ verdict as several countries in the past defied ICJ jurisdiction on espionage cases and went ahead with death sentences.

India has appealed to the world court that Pakistan did not heed an global treaty that granted diplomatic immunity to foreign nationals charged with capital crimes. Pakistani officials claim he has confessed to being a spy for the Indian intelligence. Last time, Pakistan had moved the ICJ seeking its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.

The court said Pakistan had indicated that the execution would probably not take place before August 2017.

India's external affairs ministry said the ICJ order created a "legally binding worldwide obligation" on Pakistan.

March, 2016 : Pakistan Government announced the detention of Jadhav. "The Court also decides that, until it has given its final decision, it shall remain seised of the matters which form the subject-matter of this Order". She said Pakistan will vigorously fight this case without compromising on its national security. Singh was condemned and sentenced to death in 1991, but his sentence was repeatedly postponed by authorities in Pakistan.

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