India has always maintained that Jadhav, after having retired from the Navy, was carrying out legitimate business in Iran and was kidnapped by armed groups
The International Court of Justice will decide the fate of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on April 10, 2017. The Indian government has sought annulment of the military court’s decision and demanded that Jadhav be sent back to India safe and sound.
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Pakistan government claims that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a spy carrying out terrorist acts and espionage in Pakistan on behalf of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. He was allegedly arrested on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan and sentenced to death by the Field General Court Martial in Pakistan on April 10, 2017.
India took Pakistan to the world court over the military court’s verdict calling it a gross violation of the Vienna Convention and human rights. The ICJ had sent an urgent communication to Pakistan's prime minister and effectively put a stay on the death sentence till India’s plea was disposed of.
India has always maintained that Jadhav, after having retired from the Navy, was carrying out legitimate business in Iran and was kidnapped by armed groups.
India has argued before the ICJ that Pakistan is an irresponsible state which has acted in gross violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and other international laws.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve also argued that Jadhav was sentenced by a farcical summary trial and that Pakistan was trying to falsely accuse India of the unrest in Balochistan.
India has questioned the military trial on grounds that there was a 22-day delay by Pakistan in informing Indian authorities about Jadhav’s arrest and that he was given no consular access to Indian diplomats.
What options has India placed before the ICJ?
Pakistan on its part has argued that the world court should reject India’s plea on grounds of inadmissibility. Its legal team has said that Pakistan’s military court has enough evidence of Jadhav’s espionage and subversive activities in Pakistan. They also said that Jadhav can always seek a review of the military court’s decision if he so wants.
Pakistan’s foreign office allowed Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet him on December 25, 2017. While Pakistan portrayed it as a grand gesture, the meeting was widely criticized in India for the insensitive manner in which it was conducted. India had sought consular access more than 25 times before this meeting took place.