International Court of Justice Stays the Execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav

The ICJ has ruled in India's favour

Image: Youtube/ Pakistan Media Today

A 11-member bench led by the President of the Court Justice Ronny Abraham has said that Pakistan not to execute alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav till the final verdict of the case is announced. The bench rejected Pakistan’s claim that the execution does not fall under their jurisdiction.

Last week, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at Hague has stayed the death sentence handed down to alleged spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistan military court. India had asked for a suspension of the death sentence saying that Pakistan had defied the Vienna Convention rights under Article 36 and elementary human rights of an accused. India accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations” in the detention and trial of Jadhav. According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations under Article 36, foreign nationals who are arrested or detained, have the right to notify their embassy or consulate of their arrest. India said it was repeatedly denied access to Jadhav despite multiple requests. Jadhav’s mother was also denied a visa to meet her son. Sushma Swaraj tweeted:

India has rarely approached the ICJ to settle disputes. It is unknown how Pakistan will react to the ICJ’s order. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). India and Pakistan are member states of the UN, and therefore, members of the ICJ as well.

Although the ICJ says its decisions are binding, it does not have the direct powers to implement them. It does not have a prosecutor to initiate proceedings since it is not a criminal court. Pakistan has already said in an interview to Times of India that Pakistan’s domestic laws will prevail over any international convention.

Here is a timeline of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case so far.

March 2016: Kulbhushan Jadhav is arrested by Pakistan and labelled an agent of R&AW. Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister of Balochistan, said he was picked up near Chaman, eastern Balochistan; General Asim Bajwa said he was picked up the near the Pakistan-Iran border, which is more than 800 km from Chaman.

Pakistan releases a statement where they express “deep concern on the illegal entry” of a RAW agent and “his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi.” India says Jadhav has no link with the government and asks for consular access which it is denied.

On March 26, Pakistan releases a video where Jadhav allegedly confesses to being a spy.

April 2016: Balochistan government files an FIR  against Jadhav accusing him of terrorism and sabotage.

December 2016: Sartaj Aziz, advisor on foreign affairs to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharaf, tells the Pakistani Senate says there is insufficient evidence against Jadhav.

March 2017: Aziz then retracts his previous statement of insufficient evidence and says Jadhav will not be extradited to India.

April 2017: Jadhav is sentenced to death in a secret trial.

May 9, 2017: The ICJ issues a stay on the death sentence after India instituted proceedings against Pakistan.

May 18, 2017: The ICJ provisionally suspended the death sentence of Kulbushan Jadhav.