Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict: ICJ orders Pakistan to suspend execution till final order
Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.
The Hague: In a major relief for India, the International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Pakistan to suspend death sentence of alleged spy Kulbhushan Jadhav till a final decision is taken.
ICJ president Judge Ronny Abraham also asked Pakistan to apprise it of all the measures it has taken to implement the order.
"This court unanimously decides that Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal so that Kulbushan Jadhav is not executed pending a final decision of this court in the matter. It also unanimously decides that the court must be told of the measures Pakistan takes to implement this order," ICJ president Ronny Abraham said in the operative portion of the order which he read out in the open court for nearly 30 minutes.
Officials of both the countries were present when the judge asked the registrar to communicate the order to both the parties.
Jadhav has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.
While reading out the court verdict, Judge Ronny Abraham said the decision of the 11-judge bench was unanimous.
The ICJ said that India should have been granted consular access to its national as per the Vienna Convention to which both countries have been signatories since 1977.
The court asserted its jurisdiction over the case of the 46-year-old former Indian Navy officer while noting that the circumstances of his arrest remain disputed.
Justice Abraham noted the Pakistan counsel's argument that Jadhav would not be executed till August but there was no assurance that he would not be executed after that.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction at the order of the ICJ. He spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to thank her and appreciated the efforts of advocate Harish Salve who represented India in the case, official sources said.
Sushma Swaraj also welcomed the International Court of Justice's verdict on Kulbhusban Jadhav and said that India would leave no stone unturned to save him.
India had on Monday sought the UN's highest judicial body`s intervention for an immediate suspension of Jadhav`s death sentence, fearing that the Indian national may be executed even before the ICJ decided the case.
The ruling came three days after India and Pakistan gave their submissions in the case.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 03 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Jadhav's case is the latest flash point in the tensions between Pakistan and India.
On May 08, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging the violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 09, the global court stayed the death sentence as a provisional measure.
The face-off over Jadhav has brought relations between the two rival neighbours to a new low.
(With Agency inputs)