International Court of Justice stays execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan | india-news | Hindustan Times
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International Court of Justice stays execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan

The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed his execution following India’s submission that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran.

india Updated: May 10, 2017 08:48 IST
Students protest in Mumbai against Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence by Pakistan.
Students protest in Mumbai against Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence by Pakistan.(Kunal Patil/HT File Photo)

The International Court of Justice on Tuesday stayed the hanging of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying.

The order by the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) came a day after India approached it against the death sentence handed down to Jadhav by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial last month, official sources said.

India, in its appeal to the ICJ, accused Pakistan of “egregious” violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.

Following India’s appeal, the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s execution.

India, in its appeal, contended that it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights.

It further asserted that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the Pakistani authorities were denying India its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests.

“Referring to ‘the extreme gravity and immediacy of the threat that authorities in Pakistan will execute an Indian citizen in violation of obligations Pakistan owes to India’, India urges the court to deliver an order indicating provisional measures immediately, ‘without waiting for an oral hearing’,” India’s appeal said.

Reacting to the development, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said, “I have spoken to the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Art 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court.”

Article 74, paragraph 4 of the ICJ says: “Pending the meeting of the Court, the President may call upon the parties to act in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects.”

“Mr Harish Salve, Senior Advocate is representing India before International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case,” Swaraj said in another tweet.

Jadhav (46) was sentenced to death last month by the Field General Court Martial in Pakistan, evoking a sharp reaction in India. New Delhi warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.

Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy”.

India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the navy but denies that he has any connection with the government.

India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav’s mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.

The appeal on behalf of Jadhav was given to Pakistan’s foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua by Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale, who also handed over a petition by Jadhav’s mother seeking the Pakistan government’s intervention for his release and expressing the desire to meet him.

Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International also the opposed the death sentence.

“Under Pakistan’s military courts, no information about charges or evidence against suspects is made public,” Amnesty said in a statement.

Pakistan, however, defended the sentence.

“You can’t sponsor terrorism and then summon an ambassador to protest over the sentencing of terrorists. Nothing matters more than national security,” Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit had said in New Delhi last month.

Jadhav was arrested in March last year in Balochistan and accused of being a Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent who was fuelling the Baloch separatist movement and attempting to sabotage the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. India denies the charges.

Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International also the opposed the death sentence.

“Under Pakistan’s military courts, no information about charges or evidence against suspects is made public,” Amnesty said in a statement.

Pakistan, however, defended the sentence.

“You can’t sponsor terrorism and then summon an ambassador to protest over the sentencing of terrorists. Nothing matters more than national security,” Pakistan high commissioner to India Abdul Basit had said in New Delhi last month.

Pakistan army had also released a “confessional video” of Jadhav who is purportedly heard saying that he was serving the Indian navy. In the video, Jadhav allegedly says he arrived in Iran in 2003 and started a small business in Chahbahar.

Islamabad also repeatedly refused India’s request for access to Jadhav, who allegedly held an Iranian residency permit and a passport in the name of Hussain Mubarak Patel. The place of birth given in this passport was apparently Sangli, Maharashtra.

Pakistan has accused India of fomenting unrest in Balochistan, the country’s largest province, but it has never offered any evidence to back up its claims. India last year launched a new offensive by highlighting Pakistan’s alleged human rights abuses in Balochistan.

Relations between the neighbours are at their lowest in several years following a string of militant attacks on defence installations in India, which New Delhi blames on Pakistan-based groups.