The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday found that India’s submission pertaining to the acquittal and release of Kulbhushan Jadhav could not be upheld.
According to the ICJ, the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav were not to be regarded as a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.
“As regards India’s claim based on the Vienna Convention, the Court considers that it is not the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention,” read the verdict.
The ICJ allowed India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and called on Pakistan to review and reconsider his conviction and sentence.
According to the ICJ, Pakistan deprived India the right to communicate and have access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation and thereby breached the obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c), of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Article 36 states that foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy and consulate be notified of the arrest and have consular officers visit them.
“Islamic Republic of Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir 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,” read the verdict.
Further, the verdict called on Pakistan to provide by the means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Commander Jadhav — an Indian Navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan after he entered into Pakistan from Iran.
Jadhav was tried in a military court which sentenced him to death for espionage and subversive activities.
In a reaction to the move, Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring India tensed, and New Delhi approached the ICJ to hear the case.
On May 18, 2017, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Jadhav until a final decision was made in the proceedings.