In a historic win at the International Court Of Justice in Hague on Wednesday, India ripped apart Pakistan and forced to stall the execution of its retired Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.
In a majority judgement by 15-1, the ICJ granted India Consular access to Kulbhushan and directed Pakistan military court to suspend and review the death sentence accorded to him.
The only voice of dissent in the 16 member bench was of a Pak judge named Tassadduk Hasan Jeelani who held a different view.
Interestingly, the Chinese jurist and the Vice President of the World Court too backed the majority judgement signalling a setback for Islamabad in the high-profile verdict.
The majority bench of ICJ headed by Abdulkavi Ahmed Yusuf held Pakistan guilty of violating article 36 of the Vienna Convention and ‘Internationally lawful act of a continuing character.’
The court categorically said that not informing India about the detention of Kulbhushan Jadhav and denying him consular access is a clear violation of the convention.
The verdict in the high profile case comes nearly five months after the ICJ had reserved its decision on 21 February after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan.
The proceedings of the case took two years to complete. Pak foreign minister, on the other hand, has called it ‘ a victory for Pakistan’.
In a tweet, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “Commander Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan”.
India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped on 3 March 2016 from Iran by Pak sleuths where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
After 22 days, India was informed about his detention in Pakistan on 25 March 2016. Jadhav was sentenced to death on 10 April 2017 by the Pakistani military court on charges of ‘espionage and terrorism’.
India moved the ICJ in May 2017 alleging Pakistan’s ‘egregious violation’ of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by denying it consular access to Jadhav which was denied 15 times.
Pakistan claims that the convention guidelines don’t apply to ‘spies’. In December 2017, it had allowed the mother and wife of Kulbhushan to meet him in a room separated by glass and exchange their feelings through a phone which was being tapped.
India has welcomed the verdict of the ICJ. In an official statement, MEA said, “this judgement validates India’s position on the case. We’ll continue to work vigorously for Jadhav’s early release and return to India.”