Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Relief in India as United Nations court orders Pakistan not to execute Jadhav

The UN's top court on Thursday ordered Pakistan not to execute Indian citizen Kulbushan Jadhav, who has been convicted of spying and subversive activities in Pakistan, until it gives a final decision.

Relief and a diplomatic victory are the big takeaways for India from an global court's provisional order on Thursday that prohibits Pakistan from executing an alleged Indian spy until the verdict is out.

Reading out the verdict at The Hague, Netherlands, ICJ President Ronny Abraham said that India has the right to consular access to Jadhav under Vienna convention.

"The International community must put pressure on Pakistan".

London-based Barrister Rashid Aslam said Pakistan was ill-prepared and did not utilise the 90 minutes it had to make its argument.

On April 10, 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial.

"Until the ICJ gives its verdict, the case will go on in Pakistan", he said, adding that Jadhav can not be executed as long as the stay order is there.

The bench also observed that the 150-day period for clemency given by Pakistan, which ends in August suggests execution can happen immediately thereafter. It is well documented that India wrote to Pakistan 16 times seeking consular access to Jadhav, but was rebuffed each time with no rationale given for this obnoxious behaviour. They also praised the senior Supreme Court advocate Harish Salve for his efforts to get stay on Jadhav's execution.

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The UN Court virtually snubbed Pakistan by pronouncing that no execution will take place before the final decision.

The Vienna Convention has been a frequent subject of disputes at the ICJ, often in cases involving the United States. The court said the rights invoked by India, in terms of access to Jadhav and the obligations of Pakistan to inform Jadhav of his rights as recognised in Article 36 (1) of VCCR, seemed "plausible".

It also hit out at India, saying the country has been "trying to hide its real face" by taking the case of Jadhav to the ICJ.

India has maintained that Jadhav was abducted from Iran, where he was pursuing his business, and passed off as a spy.

Party leaders said that while the ICJ's decision had come as a big relief for the Modi government, they had consciously avoided any celebration because of the sudden death of minister Anil Madhav Dave. Therefore the court was "satisfied" of the "urgency" of the case.

He pointed out that there exists a bilateral pact on consular access between Pakistan and India since 2008 and added that article 6 of the pact exclusively relates to consular access being determined on the merit of the case. This is an implicit acceptance by Pakistan that it was outfoxed and the Jadhav judgment has proven to be a diplomatic and legal disaster.

He said courts sometimes grant such orders which do not have any bearing on long-term running of the case.

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