History of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest
Kulbhushan Jhadav is a retired Indian Navy Officer who was arrested by military forces in Pakistan on 3rd March 2016.
India was informed of this only after 22 days of the arrest.
Pakistan claims that Jadhav was arrested at the Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan for illegally entering into Pakistan.
India refuted Pakistan’s claim stating that Jadhav was abducted by Pakistan forces from Iran.
Pakistan’s course of action
Jadhav’s case was conducted by a military court in Pakistan. The court awarded a Death Sentence in April 2017.
India pushed for consular access several times after the sentence was passed, but he was denied access all the times on the grounds of espionage and spying
Consular Access can be defined as the right of the foreign nationals that are arrested or detained should be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of that arrest. In layman’s language, it is the ability of the citizens of a country to have communication with the diplomats and officers of their country while held in a foreign location.
Consular access would have hampered the death sentencing of Jadhav after a secret trial conducted by Pakistan.
India approached the International Court of Justice in May 2017 after repeatedly being denied consular access.
India accused Pakistan of violation of the Vienna Convention for denying consular access.
India also argues that the process of the case was also questionable since it was handled by the military court. On the basis that the Judges of this court are not required to possess any law degrees.
Pakistan refuted the argument by India that the Pakistan military courts do not have/require a legal understanding.
Pakistan contested that Jadhav was an Indian spy sent to Balochistan to destabilise the country and therefore was not entitled to consular access.
Pakistan was directed to take no actions against Jadhav until the final hearing of the case.
The ICJ bench comprising of 16 members passed the verdict on 17th July 2019, nearly two years after the case was first submitted.
Only one Judge had a dissenting voice, and it belonged to the former Chief Justice of Pakistan - Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.
The court clarified that Pakistan failed to inform Jadhav of his rights, and failed to inform India about the arrest his without any delay.
It was held that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention and consular access should be granted.
By staying the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan is directed to review his death sentence.
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