United Nations court rules in favor Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence case

Frederick Owens
May 20, 2017

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has no jurisdiction to hear the case of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Jadhav, 46, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court and India approached the highest United Nations judicial body with the plea to stay his execution.

He said the ICJ has rightly held that India should have been granted consular access as per the Vienna Convention to which both the countries have been signatories.

The Express Tribune quoted legal experts saying Pakistan may face Great embarrassment if it fails to comply with ICJ order.

Jadhav was reportedly arrested from Pakistan's Balochistan province on March 3, 2016. India says he was kidnapped by Pakistan while he was in Iran.

Opposition has termed the ICJ's decision against the principles of justice and government's failure on the diplomatic front as it failed to plead its case before the court.

The two countries are battling it out in the global court amid a sharp escalation in tension over ceasefire violations by Pakistan, terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and the recent mutilation of two Indian soldiers by Pakistanis.

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A statement from the attorney general's office said the ICJ wanted "the status quo (to) be maintained" in Jadhav's case and the provisional measures were "without prejudice to the final determination" of the case.

India had approached the ICJ against the sentence on May 8, accusing Pakistan of "egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations" in the matter of the detention and trial of the Indian national. Pakistan, in turn, had argued that the 46-year-old Indian national was a spy and India's plea was "misconceived".

Sharma said Pakistan's contention before the ICJ was based on a lie.

The court, formally known as the International Court of Justice, is the UN's court for hearing disputes between states and its rulings are binding.

He said they hope that the Government of India will continue to mount on pressure. "This means that there is a risk that an execution could take place at any moment thereafter, before the court has given its final decision in the case".

Since Jadhav's arrest past year in March, India asked Pakistan as many as 16 times for consular access to the Indian national.

The lawyer further justified the ICJ's decision to deliver a quick ruling a mere 10 days after India filed its case at the Hague court.

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