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ICJ snubs Pak, accepts India’s key argument: Round one to India, Kulbhushan Jadhav

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 5/19/2017 7:59:56 AM

CATEGORICALLY rejecting Pakistan’s arguments of sovereignty and its claims of due process, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague Thursday stayed the execution of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav until the court gives its final decision after the completion of proceedings.
Jadhav, 46, who is in Pakistan’s custody since March last year, had been sentenced to death by a military court — its proceedings were secret — on April 10 on charges of espionage and subversive activities.
Within hours of the verdict, India called it “the first step in ensuring justice”, and one which was a “matter of great relief” for people of the country.
Read | Tussle between Army, govt will shape how The Hague verdict plays out in Pakistan
The verdict accepted India’s key arguments, including the one about ICJ’s “jurisdiction” for which it had cited violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. This had been challenged by Pakistan at the hearing on May 15. The Hague also accepted New Delhi’s argument about the “urgency” of the matter which had also been contested by Islamabad citing the 150-day clemency period.
What was special about the verdict, from New Delhi’s point of view, was that it was a unanimous one by an 11-judge bench — a significant diplomatic achievement in the current standoff with Islamabad.
Read | Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution stayed by ICJ: Full text of verdict
The court did not issue directions on consular access, which is going to be the next step for India.
While all eyes are on Pakistan on whether the civilian government led by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is able to lean on the powerful military and grant consular access, sources in New Delhi told The Indian Express that they are considering reiterating their request for consular access again in the next few days.
While there were differing voices in Pakistan on whether the ICJ order will be implemented or not, New Delhi reminded them that the order is “legally binding”.
Read | Kulbhushan Jadhav’s hanging stayed: Pakistan attacks India, Modi govt says ‘will do everything to save him’
Reading out the verdict, three days after it was argued by both sides, ICJ president Ronny Abraham said: “Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the court of all the measures taken in implementation of the order.”
The United Nation’s highest judicial body, which had earlier been approached by India, noted: “… the mere fact that Mr Jadhav is under a death sentence and might therefore be executed is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India”.
“Pakistan has indicated that any execution of Mr Jadhav would probably not take place before the month of August 2017. This means that there is a risk that an execution could take place at any moment thereafter, before the court has given its final decision in the case.”
Opinion | ICJ's Verdict On Kulbhushan Jadhav Definitely Not The Final Word


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