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Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: International Court Of Justice To Deliver Its Verdict Today

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017.

Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: International Court Of Justice To Deliver Its Verdict Today
Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national, who is on death row after a military court in Pakistan handed him the death penalty. (file photo)
Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: International Court Of Justice To Deliver Its Verdict Today
outlookindia.com
2019-07-17T17:31:13+0530

The International Court Of Justice (ICJ) will deliver on Wednesday its verdict in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national currently on death row in Pakistan.

India has challenged a Pakistan military court's verdict at The Hague, saying it was based on an "extracted confession", adding that New Delhi was repeatedly denied consular access to Jadhav in breach of provisions of Vienna Convention.

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017.

President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf will read out the verdict during a public sitting which will take place at 3 pm (6.30 pm IST) on Wednesday at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said that Pakistan has fully contested the case before the ICJ.

"Pakistan was hoping for the best and would accept the decision of ICJ," he was quoted as saying by state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.

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 amid 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 at ICJ, both India and Pakistan submitted their detailed pleas and responses.

India's case is predicated 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 before 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."

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

Pakistan had rejected India's plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its "spy".

However, Pakistan facilitated a meeting of Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25, 2017.

(With inputs from PTI)

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