The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled in India's favour asking Pakistan to reconsider the death sentence of Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav.
By fifteen votes to one, the court rejected the objection of Pakistan to the admissibility of India's application and also found that Pakistan breached the Vienna Convention by not informing Jadhav of his rights.
Pakistan was under the obligation to inform India about the arrest and detention of Jadhav under the Vienna Convention, the court said.
The court has said that Jadhav’s death sentence should remain suspended until Pakistan effectively reviews and reconsiders the conviction/sentence in light of Pakistan’s breach of Art 36(1) i.e. denial of consular access and notification.
However, the court has rejected most of the remedies sought by India, including annulment of military court decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.
The bench observed that there was a three-week delay in informing India about Jadhav's arrest on March 3, 2016, leading to a "breach" of Pakistan's obligations under the convention.
Noting that India has made a number of requests for the consular access, which was denied by Pakistan, the court said it was "undisputed" fact that Pakistan did not accede to India's appeals.
The court said that Pakistan has not explained how any of the wrongful acts allegedly committed by India may have prevented it from fulfilling its obligation.
The judges said there was no basis to conclude that India abused its procedural rights when it requested an indication of provisional measures in this case.
On Pakistan's argument that India has failed to prove Jadhav's nationality, the court said it was satisfied that the evidence before it leaves no room for doubt that Jadhav is of Indian nationality.
The court ruled that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.
India moved the ICJ on May 8, 2017, for the "egregious violation" of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to Jadhav.
A bench of the ICJ, which was set up after World War II to resolve international disputes, on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
A four-day public hearing in the high-profile case took place in February amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that killed 40 CRPF soldiers on February 14.
During the hearing in ICJ, both India and Pakistan submitted their detailed pleas and responses. India based its case on two broad issues -- breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution.
Harish Salve, who was representing India in the case, questioned the functioning of Pakistan's notorious military courts and urged the top UN court to annul Jadhav's death sentence, which is based on an "extracted confession".In his submission in the ICJ on the last day of the hearing, Pakistan's counsel Khawar Qureshi said, "India's claim for relief must be dismissed or declared inadmissible."