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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India wins at the ICJ, court says Pakistan violated Vienna Convention, orders review of case & consular access

ICJ said that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention in Kulbhushan Jadhav case

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled in India’s favour in Kulbushan Jadhav’s case. The court unanimously found that it has jurisdiction in the case. The court rejected Pakistan’s objections to the admissibility of India’s application, and found that application of India is admissible.

The court also ruled that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, by not informing Kulbhushan Jadhav about his rights under the convention, and also by not informing the Indian Consular officials in Pakistan about Jadhav’s arrest.

The ICJ said that Pakistan deprived India of its right to have access to Jadhav, to visit him in detention, and to arrange for his legal representation. Therefore Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention. The court ordered Pakistan provide Kulbhushan Jadhav with an effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentence.

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Finally, the International Court of Justice said that the stay order on execution of Jadhav will continue, and the conviction and sentencing of the case must be reviewed and reconsidered.

All these rulings were passed by fifteen to one, with the ad hoc Pakistani judge opposing them.

Jadhav is an Indian national and a retired Navy officer, who was arbitrarily arrested by Pakistan in 2016 for being an ‘Indian spy’. The Indian government had approached the International Court of Justice over the arbitrary death sentence handed down to Jadhav after an ad hoc hearing in Pakistan.

A Pakistani military court sentenced him to death in April 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism. However, the International Court of Justice in The Hague had asked Pakistan to hold off the execution till it reaches its final verdict in the case.

The ICJ had conducted a public hearing of the case in February this year. India has sought annulment of Jadhav’s death sentence and his immediate release, stating that the Pakistani army court verdict has failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process. Senior advocate Harish Salve had presented India’s case at the ICJ.

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