As India awaits Kulbhushan Jadhav's release; here are highlights of the case

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2019

"The court considers that a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav", Yusuf said.

Residents of a small village in the western Maharashtra district of Satara on July 17 celebrated as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed the death sentence awarded to local lad Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistan court. A court verdict that refuses to order the release of Jadhav will anger certain constituencies in India, and a decision that doesn't weigh in on the issue of execution will not go down well with some in Pakistan.

The Hague-based ICJ ordered the "effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence" passed on Jadhav, according to a document on the court's website.

India began proceedings against Pakistan "for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963" in detaining Jadhav, and in his sentencing to death by a military court.

New Delhi said that the use of military courts for the trial of civilians is violative of due process standards of the ICCPR, and also of the minimum standards recognised as principles of global law.


Former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj wrote on Twitter, "I wholeheartedly welcome the verdict of International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav".

In February, the attorney general told the ICJ that Jadhav's "unlawful activities were directed at creating anarchy in Pakistan and particularly targeted the China-Pakistan corridor". "This is a clear case of Indian state terrorism", the statement said.

"Delhi defeated. ICJ knocks out India's major demands about #KulbhushanJadhav about his release and annulment of sentence, practically admits he is a spy, asks Pakistan for review sentence through its own means with consular access", he said.

The Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said the fact that the ICJ did not ask Pakistan to release or acquit Jadhav meant that the United Nations court had "not accepted India's plea" for his release.

Judges did say that Islamabad would need to take all necessary measures including changing their laws to ensure Jadhav's case will be properly reviewed.


Reema Omar, the International Legal Advisor for South Asia at the ICJ, noted that India's appeal for Jadhav's release and return was not granted by the Court.

The Foreign Office said that Jadhav entered Pakistan "without a visa on authentic Indian Passport with a fake alias Hussain Mubarak Patel".

Jadhav, a 49-year-old retired Navy officer, was allegedly arrested on March 3, 2016, while India was informed only on March 25. It denies that Jadhav is a spy.

Subsequently, on May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.


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