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ICJ stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution by Pakistan, it's a big win for India

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 18, May 2017, 16:12 pm IST | UPDATED: 18, May 2017, 16:35 pm IST

ICJ stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution by Pakistan, it's a big win for India Hague: In a big diplomatic win for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague Thursday stayed the execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan till it takes a final decision on the matter.

A Pakistan military court had awarded the death sentence to Jadhav, who was arrested on March 3 last year, last month for espionage and subversive activities.

India had dragged Pakistan to the ICJ on May 8 for refusing consular access to Jadhav and for violating the Vienna Convention on consular relations.

India's argument:
India has invoked article 36 of the Vienna convention and accused Pakistan of "egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations".

It further charged that Jadhav had no access to legal counsel in Pakistan, and had been denied consular access. It said Jadhav's confession admitting his crimes had been extracted forcefully when he was in military custody.

India pushed for an oral submission before the court, , asking Pakistan to take all measures necessary to ensure Jadhav is not executed. It wants Islamabad to report to the ICJ the action it has taken in pursuance of plea.

It also wants Pakistan to ensure that no action is taken that might prejudice India's or Jadhav's rights with respect to any decision the Court may render on the merits of the case.

Pakistan's argument:
It said Jadhav was awarded death sentence last month, a year after he was arrested on charges of espionage and subversive activities. While India stated that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy, Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province.

Pakistan, in its argument, accused India of using ICJ to conduct a 'political theatre'.

It further said Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a "spy" involved in terror activities.

Pakistan trashed India's charge in ICJ that Islamabad intended to execute Jadhav within days. "Simply by referring to the clemency process available as a right to commander Jadhav. A period of 150 days is provided for in this regard which even if (it) started on April 10, 2017, which is the date of conviction at first instance, could extend to well beyond August 2017. There is also, of course, the potential for the writ petition of the High Court to be invoked as we believe India must be well aware," Pakistan's counsel argued.

Pakistan further stated that India had been unable to explain discrepancy in Jadhav's passport which has a Muslim name on it.

we believe India must be well aware," Pakistan's counsel argued.

Pakistan further stated that India had been unable to explain discrepancy in Jadhav's passport which has a Muslim name on it.

Live Updates:
  •     Appropriate to say that Pak shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure Jadhav is not executed pending final decision, the ICJ says.
  •     The ICJ stays death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani military court until further notice.
  •     The rights invoked by India under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention are proven.
  •     All parties under Vienna Convention have rights to provide consular assistance to their nationals.
  •     Both India and Pakistan agree that Jadhav is an Indian citizen.
  •     2008 agreement between India, Pakistan does not restrict the ICJ from jurisdiction in this case.
  •     India should have been given consular access as per Vienna Convention.
  •     The alleged failure by Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav as requested by India appears to be falling within the scope of Vienna Convention.
  •     On the date an appeal was filed, a dispute existed between India and Pakistan as to the trial and sentencing of Jadhav, Judge said.
  •     Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, says that the objections to Article 36 of the Vienna Convention do not apply in this case.

During its submission to the ICJ on May 15 at a public hearing, India had demanded the immediate annulment of Jadhav's death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ was over.

While India asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy, Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province.

India is represented by its 'Agent' Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry and the case is argued by its lead attorney Harish Salve. The India team is expected to be present at the time of the verdict.

On its part, Pakistan told the ICJ that Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a "spy" involved in terror activities and charged India with using the world body as a stage for "political theatre" in the Jadhav case.

It is after 18 years that the two neighbours were fighting it out at the ICJ. Last time, Pakistan had moved the ICJ seeking its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.
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