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ICJ to pronounce verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case at 3:30 pm today

It is after 18 years that India and Pakistan were fighting it out at the International Court of Justice. 

ICJ to pronounce verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case at 3:30 pm today

New Delhi/The Hague: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will on Thursday pronounce its verdict on India's appeal seeking suspension of the death sentence awarded by a Pakistani military court to its national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

"The ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will deliver its Order on the request for the indication of provisional measures made by India in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan), tomorrow on Thursday 18 May 2017,” the international court said in a release today.

"A public sitting will take place at 12 noon (3.30 pm IST) at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, will read the court's decision".

The ICJ ruling also made it clear that "pending the meeting of the court, the President may call upon the parties to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects."

The decision comes after India on Monday sought the court's intervention for an immediate suspension of the death sentence of allegedly spy Jadhav, fearing that the Indian national may be executed even before the ICJ decided the case.

Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing: India demands immediate suspension of death sentence; Vienna Convention not for spies involved in terror, Pakistan tells International Court of Justice

India, whose request for consular access to Jadhav was turned down 16 times, had approached the ICJ on May 08.

Indian lawyer Harish Salve accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and conducting a "farcical trial" for convicting Jadhav without a "shred of evidence" following which the court had stayed his execution.

The lawyer told the court that Jadhav was kidnapped in 2016 from Iran where he was pursuing his business after retiring from the Indian Navy, brought to Pakistan and was shown to have been arrested in Balochistan and presented as an alleged Indian spy.

Salve demanded that Pakistan should annul Jadhav's death sentence as he was not even given a chance to defend himself.

Pakistan, however, rejected the plea on the ground that India had no right to invoke the jurisdiction of the UN's highest court because the Vienna Convention does not provide for matters relating to spies, terrorists and those who indulge in espionage.

Islamabad also asked the court to reject India's plea for provisional measure in the case.

Denying the charges levelled by India, Pakistan has maintained that it had requested an Indian assistance in the investigation of Jadhav's alleged "involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan", which it said New Delhi did not provide.

India is represented by its 'Agent' Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the External Affairs Ministry and the case is argued by its lead attorney Harish Salve. The India team is expected to be present at the time of the verdict.

The face-off over Jadhav has brought relations between the two rival neighbours to a new low.

It is after 18 years that the two neighbours were fighting it out at the ICJ. Last time, Pakistan had moved the ICJ seeking its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.

(With Agency inputs)