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International Court Of Justice Stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's Execution

The International Court of Justice on Thursday stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities

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The 11-judge bench of International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday (May 18) stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.

The president of the UN court, Ronny Abraham, read out the decision.

The two countries faced each other in the international 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.

According to several media reports, Vienna Convention does not contain provision excluding persons suspected of terrorism or espionage, said Justice Abraham. Effectively the court has overruled Pakistan's objections on the jurisdiction of the ICJ in the issue.

The ICJ said that India should have been granted consular access to its national as per the Vienna Convention to which both countries have been signatories since 1977.

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.

The court also reminded Pakistan that the decision has a binding effect on the two parties involved, created by international legal obligations towards the ICJ.

The ruling came three days after India and Pakistan gave their submissions in the case.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Jadhav's case is the latest flashpoint in the tensions between Pakistan and India.

On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 9, the global court stayed the death sentence as a provisional measure.

Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "I assure the nation that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi we will leave no stone unturned to save Kulbhushan Jadhav".

The last time India and Pakistan took a dispute to the ICJ was in 1999 when Islamabad protested against the shooting down of a Pakistani navy plane that killed 16 people.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed satisfaction at the order of the International Court of Justice which stayed the execution of Jadhav who is on death row in Pakistan.

He spoke to Swaraj to thank her and appreciated the efforts of advocate Harish Salve who represented India in the case, official sources said.

The Prime Minister's reaction came after the 11-judge bench of the ICJ unanimously stayed execution of Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.

Senior Congress leader Azad has welcomed the decision of the ICJ staying the execution of Jadhav and appealed to the Government to ensure justice and his return to India.

"The case against Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan was a sham and was in gross violation of international law as his execution was ordered by a kangaroo court without consular access. It is appreciated that the World Court saw reason in the Indian appeal," he said in a statement.

The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha also appreciated the fact that the ICJ had turned down Pakistan's request that it be allowed to play a purported confessional video at the hearing.

He lauded the ICJ's unanimous decision granting a stay on the execution of Jadhav, who was sentenced to death in Pakistan on espionage charges.

(PTI also contributed to this story)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Shaurya Bhaskar

Shaurya is a young journalist

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