Relief in India as United Nations court orders Pakistan not to execute Jadhav

Posted May 19, 2017

The ICJ asserted its jurisdiction over the case of the 46-year-old former Indian Navy officer while noting that the circumstances of his arrest remain disputed. "India should have been given consular access as per Vienna convention", Judge Ronny Abraham said.

"India desperately tried to divert the world's attention by presenting Kulbhushan Jadhav's case from [a] humanitarian angle", Nafees Zakaria, a spokesperson for Pakistan's foreign ministry, said on Thursday. "These measures have no bearing whatsoever on the final decision of the Court", the statement said.

While the masterminds of horrific Mumbai attack are yet to face any kind of justice in Pakistan, Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested and sentenced in less than a year in a closed-door trial by a military court.

Islamabad accused Jadhav of carrying out "terrorist activities aimed at destabilizing Pakistan" on behalf of India's foreign intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing.

"Without prejudging the result, the ICJ considers that the risk or irreparable prejudice, the mere fact that Jadhav is under such a sentence and might be executed, is sufficient to demonstrate such a risk".

Baglay said it means that until the court issues a final decision in the case, "Sri Kulbhushan Jadhav can not be executed by Pakistan". However, the court in its decision prime facie exercised the jurisdiction and accepted Indian pleas.

Asked if India moving the ICJ opens a door for Pakistan to raise bilateral issues internationally, the former external affairs minister said he is sure the government would have weighed all options and their pros and cons.

The ICJ also rejected Pakistan's contention that Jadhav, as a "spy", could not be given the benefit of consular access as per Article 36 (1) of Vienna Convention.

Party leaders said that while the ICJ's decision had come as a big relief for the Modi government, they had consciously avoided any celebration because of the sudden death of minister Anil Madhav Dave. Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi also welcomed the ICJ verdict and said it was binding on both the States.

Pakistani representative Mohammad Faisal on Monday showed judges a copy of an Indian passport he said Jadhav was carrying at the time of his detention, which bore the name Hussein Mubarak Patel, calling it an "obvious indication of covert and illegal activity".

United Nations court orders Pakistan to stay the execution of Jadhav, a retired Indian naval officer, in a setback to Islamabad. However, death sentences have rarely been issued in such cases.

Home minister Rajnath Singh said the ruling gave the people of India a "deep sense of satisfaction and relief".

Jadhav was convicted last month by a Pakistani military court and sentenced to death.