NEW DELHI: Pakistan must ensure that Kulbhushan Jadhav is not executed until a final decision is taken on India’s appeal against his death sentence, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has said.
In an emergency hearing on Monday, New Delhi had called on UN’s top court to order Islamabad to suspend the execution of the former navy officer held guilty by a Pakistani military court of spying.
Mr Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 and Pakistani officials claimed he had confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services. He was sentenced to death last month.
The president of the UN court, Ronny Abraham, read out the decision.
Big win for India at The Hague | International Court of Justice stays #KulbhushanJadhav death sentence
— NDTV (@ndtv) May 18, 2017
The two countries faced each other in the international court amid a sharp escalation in tension over ceasefire violations by Pakistan, terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and the recent mutilation of two Indian soldiers by Pakistanis.
The president of the UN court, Ronny Abraham, will read out the decision.
India had expressed fear that Pakistan may execute Mr Jadhav even before the UN court decides on its appeal. In the hearing, the government accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention” by denying him access to legal counsel and consular access, and refusing to reveal the charges or evidence against him.
I compliment my team of officers in the MEA for their tireless efforts and hard work.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) May 18, 2017
The government wants the world court to decide whether Pakistan has broken the convention and international human rights law.
Mr Jadhav was “an innocent Indian national, who, incarcerated in Pakistan for more than a year on concocted charges … has been held incommunicado… and faces imminent execution,” India told the tribunal.
Pakistan denied that the execution was imminent, saying that Mr Jadhav had time at least till August for legal remedies. Its representative also accused India of “political grandstanding” and told the court Mr Jadhav “has confessed to having been sent by India to wage terror on the innocent civilians and infrastructure of Pakistan”.
The last time India and Pakistan took a dispute to the ICJ was in 1999 when Islamabad protested against the shooting down of a Pakistani navy plane that killed 16 people.
In that case, the tribunal decided it was not competent to rule in the dispute and closed the case.