Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was among the first to welcome the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav in favour of India and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for pursuing the case. She also thanked Harish Salve for presenting India’s case at the ICJ effectively and successfully and said that it was a great victory for India.
In a major relief for India, the ICJ on Wednesday asked Pakistan to review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav on charges of espionage and conspiracy against Pakistan. It also said that Pakistan breached the obligations under the Vienna Convention by not informing Jadhav of his rights.
Breach of trust.
In denying India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged espionage, Pakistan has not only violated the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, but it also ignored a 2008 bilateral agreement on consular access. In November 2008, India and Pakistan inked a bilateral agreement on consular access to the prisoners in each other’s countries.
Islamabad had also stubbornly refused to agree to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with India, or even ratify one under SAARC. India has told the ICJ that the entire trial and sentence by Pakistan’s military court, which was based on ‘confession taken under custody’, without adequate legal representation was farcical.
India succeeded in stopping Pakistan from taking the law into its own hands by approaching ICJ in 2017, which prevented Islamabad from executing Jadhav. Pakistan’s argument that the ICJ had no jurisdiction in the case was overruled by ICJ – the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).