ICJ stays death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav

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Former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan for allegedly spying in Balochistan. The International Court of Justice(ICJ) at the Hague, which heard arguments in the case from both India and Pakistan on Monday, delivered its verdict today.

An eleven-judge bench of ICJ ruled that execution of Jadhav should not be allowed until it has disposed the case. The court has overruled Pakistan’s objections on the jurisdiction of the ICJ and upheld Indian plea for consular access. It held that Pakistan is violating the Vienna Convention by denying consular access and said India should be given consular access immediately. The world Court said Vienna Convention does not contain provisions of excluding persons suspected of terrorism or espionage.

Here is the timeline of the events in the case –

  • March, 2016 : Pakistan Government announced the detention of Jadhav. The allegation against him was that he was an active Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operative. India responded immediately and said that he has retired to his position in navy. However, Pakistan released a video of Jadhav admitting he was a “spy”.
  • April, 2016 : Chargesheet was filed against Jadhav for “espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan” under its Army Act
  • June, 2016 : Pakistan officially turned down India’s request for consular access to Jadhav
  • December, 2016 : Prime minister’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz admits that the Pak government did not have “conclusive evidence”.
  • March, 2017 : Sartaj backtracked on his words and said Jadhav will not be extradited to India under any cirumstances.
  • April, 2017 : Jadhav was sentenced to death by Field General Court Martial. It also ruled out consular access to Jadhav 16times.
  • 10th May, 2017: ICJ has written to the Pakistan government to, put on hold the execution of Jadhav.
  • 15th May, 2017 : ICJ reserved its verdict over the case after publicly hearing both the sides.
    Senior lawyer Harish Salve presenting India’s case said, Pak was in violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Access.
    Pakistan challenged the world court’s jurisdiction.
  • 18th May 2017ICJ overruled Pak’s objections says it has prima facie jurisdiction to take up the case of Jadhav. Further it said Vienna Convention doesn’t exclude people detained for espionage.
    India should have been given consular access as per Vienna convention. It stayed the death sentence until further notice

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