United Nation’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) will on Thursday announce the crucial verdict in Kulbhushan Yadav death sentence case, three days after India and Pakistan presented their case over the issue at the ICJ.
The verdict will be delivered at 3.30 pm as per the Indian Standard Time (IST).
India has demanded immediate suspension of the death sentence given to its former Navy officer by a Pakistan military court accusing him of ‘spying.’
“The ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will deliver its order on the request for the indication of provisional measures made by India in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan), tomorrow on Thursday 18 May 2017. A public sitting will take place at 12 noon at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, will read the court’s decision,” the International Court of Justice said in a release on Wednesday.
India, whose request for consular access to Jadhav was turned down 16 times, had approached the ICJ on 8 May, accusing Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and conducting a “farcical trial” for convicting Jadhav without a “shred of evidence” following which the court had stayed his execution.
The international court ruling also made it clear that “pending the meeting of the court, the President may call upon the parties to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects.”
During its submission to the ICJ on 15 May at a public hearing, India had demanded the immediate annulment of Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the international court was over.
Jadhav was arrested on March 3 last year and sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities. While India asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy, Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province and had confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services.
India is represented by its ‘Agent’ Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry and the case is argued by its lead attorney Harish Salve. The India team is expected to be present at the time of the verdict.
On its part, Pakistan told the International Court of Justice that Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a “spy” involved in terror activities and charged India with using the world body as a stage for “political theatre” in the Jadhav case.
But Pakistani representatives also told the court Jadhav “has confessed to having been sent by India to wage terror on the innocent civilians and infrastructure of Pakistan”.
Islamabad has also hinted that Pakistan may not accept the ICJ jurisdiction saying that national security matters wont come under the purview of the international court.
It is after 18 years that the two neighbours were fighting it out at the International Court of Justice. Last time, Pakistan had moved the ICJ seeking its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.