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International Court of Justice likely to pronounce judgment in Kulbhushan Jadhav case later this month

In a press conference on Thursday, Kumar announced 'the decision on this matter will come in the next few weeks. There has been a cross-examination in the case. The International Court will decide on this. For now, the date has to be announced.'

Coming as a ray of hope for the former naval commander’s family, the verdict in highly anticipated Kulbhushan Jadhav case is likely to be pronounced by International Court of Justice (ICJ) later this month. This news was confirmed by Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

In a press conference on Thursday, Kumar announced ‘the decision on this matter will come in the next few weeks. There has been a cross-examination in the case. The International Court will decide on this. For now, the date has to be announced.’

According to reports, the verdict will likely come across in third week of this month.

The 47-year-old Jadhav was sentenced to death by the military court of Pakistan in April 2017 on alleged espionage charges. Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI had kidnapped Jadhav from Iran.

The MEA has reiterated India’s commitment to making all possible efforts to “secure and protect” the rights of Jadhav.

In February 2019, advocate Harish Salve had presented a strong case for Jadhav at ICJ and had argued that Pakistan’s case was weak.

Questioning the process adopted by the military court in Pakistan, which had heard Jadhav’s case and sentenced him, Salve said that the ICJ doesn’t need experts to help it decide whether military courts in Pakistan are due process complaint.

Taking a dig at Pakistan, he said that Indian nationals are not the kind whose nationality needs to be denied. Salve added that Pakistan is being used as a safe haven by terrorists and terror organisations like Hafiz Saeed, Al-Qaeda, JeM, Dawood Ibrahim etc.

Salve said there was no doubt that Jadhav is an Indian national, and as per laws, if a foreign person is detained by a country, consular access must be granted as per article 36 of the Vienna Convention.

Salve had informed the court that India has repeatedly asked for a copy of the judgment convicting Jadhav, and the charges against him but Pakistan still refused to share the documents.

Alleging that Jadhav has become a pawn in Pakistan’s tool to divert international scrutiny from itself, Salve had concluded his arguments by suggesting that time has come for the court to make Article 36 a potent weapon for protection of human rights.

India had first approached the ICJ on May 8, 2017, for egregious violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 by Pakistan in the matter.

The court had on May 18, 2017, indicated provisional measures as requested by India and passed an order obligating Pakistan to not carry out the sentence that was awarded Jadhav through a farcical trial by the military court of Pakistan.

Pakistan claimed its security forces arrested Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, where he had reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

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