ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Thursday

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018

Harish Salve, India’s Counsel, has called Pakistan’s trial of Jadhav as ‘farcical’

But decision not likely to be binding on Pakistan

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is expected to give its final verdict on Thursday on India’s appeal to stop the execution of retired naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been given death sentence by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.

“The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will deliver its Order on the request for the indication of provisional measures made by India in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan), tomorrow on Thursday 18 May 2017,” stated a release issued by the ICJ on Wednesday.

The ICJ verdict, even if it goes in India’s favour, is not binding on Pakistan. Pakistan had informed the UN in March this year that ICJ rulings will not be binding on Pakistan in matters concerning national security and self-defence among others, sources told BusinessLine.

This statement was given by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Maleeha Lodhi in March this year in a declaration to the ICJ in recognising its jurisdiction as compulsory.

Sources also said Pakistan may produce more evidence on the “terrorist activities” being monitored and conducted by Jadhav in Balochistan. Apparently, Pakistan has informed ICJ that Jadhav’s associates are still indulging in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Pakistan has also said that the date for Jadhav’s execution has not been fixed and that he can exercise the right to file an appeal by giving a petition at the military court and thereafter to the Supreme Court. If these fails, then he can also file a clemency petition.

India has denied all allegations against Jadhav and has expressed serious concerns over his well-being. India has called the death sentence, given to Jadhav by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) last month, as a “pre-meditated murder.”

Vienna Convention

India’s main contention is that Pakistan has violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by not letting India access Jadhav, who was apparently working in Chabahar, Iran. Pakistan has said he was arrested in Balochistan where he has masterminded a series of terrorist activities.

Pakistan has turned down 16 request made by India for consular access to Jadhav, saying he is an intelligence officer with the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).

Senior attorney Harish Salve, who is India’s counsel at the ICJ, had called the trial conducted by Pakistan “farcical” and the one without a “shred of evidence” during the May 15 hearing of the matter.

During the May 15 hearing, Salve had cited three precedents on the issue of provisional measures that was also heard at the ICJ. He accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention” since his arrest in March 2016.

Published on May 17, 2017

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