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.”
“Mr Harish Salve, Senior Advocate is representing India before International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case,” she tweeted.
Jadhav, 46, was given death sentence last month by the Field General Court Martial in Pakistan, evoking a sharp reaction in India which 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.
(With PTI inputs)