A differently-abled person participates in a signature campaign against the death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani military court, in Nagpur. | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan
Takes extreme step of approaching ICJ because of Pakistan “broke all norms”
In a major breakthrough for the government’s efforts in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former naval officer sentenced to death in Pakistan, the government received a stay order from the International Court of Justice at The Hague, in a petition that accused Pakistan of gross violations of international laws.
Ordering the stay, President of the International Court of Justice Ronny Abraham directed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “act in such a way so as to enable the court to enforce any decision it takes on the Indian plea,” effectively staying Mr. Jadhav’s execution until the court hears the matter and passes orders.
In their petition filed on May 8, the team of lawyers led by senior advocate Harish Salve listed out the details of the Jadhav case and the “egregious violations” of the Geneva convention that deals with Consular relations, including Pakistan’s refusal to give any details of Mr. Jadhav’s arrest and trial until after the death sentence was passed, failure to provide consular access to India despite 15 attempts, and suggesting access would be given only in exchange for information about Mr. Jadhav from India.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had informed Mr. Jadhav’s mother of the order.
India has rarely approached the ICJ in the past, given its hesitation to “internationalise” its bilateral relations, especially when it comes to Pakistan. However a senior official told The Hindu that the Jadhav case required the extreme measure, as “Pakistan had refused to follow any established norm or principle.”
In its petition explaining the urgency, India said that “without the provisional measures requested, Pakistan will execute Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav before the Court can consider the merits of India’s claims and India will forever be deprived of the opportunity to vindicate its rights”, indicating that a final appeal filed by Mr. Jadhav’s mother in the Pakistan Supreme Court could be adjudicated at any time, unless the International court acted.
The International Court of Justice is a part of the United Nations, and its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned, a press release issued at The Hague on Tuesday said.