Kulbhushan Jadhav case: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is all set to announce its judgement in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case today with both India hoping a judgement in its favour. Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, was arrested in March 2016 on the charges of espionage and terrorism. He was sentenced to death by Pakistan’s military court in 2017. His execution was endorsed by Chief of Army Staff Qamar Bajwa.
It was followed by India’s approach to the ICJ for mediation. India has presented three strong points which may help Jadhav’s release from Pakistan. First, New Delhi has maintained that Pakistan did not allow consular access to Jadhav, violating the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Second, inordinate delay in informing India of holding an Indian national prisoner. Third, the retired Indian Navy officer was not informed of his consular rights.
However, Pakistan’s position is that Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan province in 2016 after he illegally entered the country for alleged spying. India has rejected Islamabad’s stand, saying Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran and taken to Pakistan by its intelligence agencies.
Pakistan has also denied Indian officials to meet him despite repeated requests by New Delhi. India has been seeking annulment of Jadhav’s execution and his immediate release. In its ruling, the ICJ can ask Pakistan to allow consular access to Jadhav and shift his trial to a civil court. All eyes will be on Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, president of the ICJ, who will pronounce the verdict in The Hague at 6: 30 pm (IST).