ICJ suspends Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence, grants consular access to India

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Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sentenced to death by Pakistani military court for, however after long battle International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered to review the death sentence. I CJ president Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, who read out the verdict for the 16-member bench of the top UN court in The Hague, ordered Pakistan to “effectively review and reconsider” the death sentence because it had breached the international convention on consular access.

“The Court finds that Pakistan is under an obligation to provide, by means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav, so as to ensure that full weight is given to the effect of the violation of the rights set forth in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention,” Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ruled.

Indian highlighted the issue that Jadhav was not given consular access under the Vienna convention, tried him in a military court that operated quite like a “kangaroo court” and did not afford him the opportunity to defend himself.

Pakistan had claimed that they had arrested Jadhav in 2016 from Balochistan province in 2016 but India refuted by saying Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he was running a business.

On May 8, 2017, India turned to the International Court of Justice in relation to violations by Pakistan of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963.

Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), one is allowed a fair and impartial trial, in which the accused is represented by a lawyer of his choice.

In December 2017, when Jadhav’s mother and wife travelled to meet him, their interaction was across a glass barrier and through a telephone. Jadhav’s responses came across as stilted and tutored. Thus India accused Islamabad of violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by not allowing consular access to Jadhav.