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ICJ rejects Indian plea to acquit Kulbhushan Jhadav, asks Pakistan to review sentence

TP 3 months ago
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ISLAMABAD: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its verdict in the Kulbushan Jadhav case on Wednesday rejected the Indian plea to acquit, release and repatriate him to India while declaring his conviction by a military court null and void.

The ICJ, however, ruled that Jadhav be allowed consular access and asked Pakistan to review and reconsider his conviction and death sentence.

The court said that Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations did not preclude its applicability to persons charged with espionage and terrorist acts.

The judgement was read out by Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, who said that Jhadv is a bonafide citizen of India and a passport should be issued in his name.

At the ICJ, Pakistan has objected to the Indian contention that Commander Jhadav — who was arrested from Balochistan in 2016 and awarded a death sentence by a military court in 2017 — was not given consular access during the trail under the Vienna Convention, and had counter-argued that the Indian naval officer was involved in saboteur activities in Pakistan and he was funding separatist groups in Balochistan.

Pakistan’s legal team headed by Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan is present in the ICJ courtroom where the verdict was announced. The ICJ rejected Pakistan’s objection to the admissibility of the Indian application.

The ICJ ruled that “Pakistan had breached the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.”

Pakistan “deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation”, the judges said.

“A continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav,” the court ruled.

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