Reconsideration of the conviction in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ

Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav

New Delhi: Former Special Secretary in Cabinet Secretariat, Tilak Devasher has said that the verdict of International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Kulbhushan Jadhav case is a huge victory for India and defeat for Pakistan.

Speaking to ANI, Devasher said, “It’s a huge victory for India. The court has admitted that there was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). The court has admitted that Pakistan was wrong for not giving the consular access. It has also noted that the whole procedure of military trial has to be re-looked and reconsidered so that there will be re-trial with consular access.”

On being asked about the possible future course of action by Pakistan in the case, he said, “Now, for Pakistan, it will be very difficult but they will try to pull something out of this. It’s a big defeat for them. Pakistan will now retrieve something out of it by saying that the judgement itself was not overturned of the military court. But that is meaningless because the ICJ has held that the judgement needs to be re-looked.”

Reconsideration of the conviction in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ
The Hague: Kulbhushan Jadhav case proceedings begin at ICJ at The Hague, Netherlands on July 17, 2019. (Photo: IANS/UN)

His reaction comes after the ICJ on Wednesday continued its stay on the execution of the Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, held in a Pakistani jail on allegations of spying, and called for an effective review and reconsideration of the conviction.

Jadhav, 49, was purportedly “arrested” from Balochistan by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, after he allegedly entered the country from Iran, as claimed by Islamabad.

India has held that Pakistan, which faces several problems on its border with Iran, has been using Jadhav’s case to blame India for its problems in Balochistan. It has used proxy groups such as Jaish al Adl against Iran, while Iranian officials have spoken of Pakistan’s sponsorship of terror activities along the Iran-Pakistan border.

It was on March 25, 2016, that then Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, had informed the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad of Jadhav’s “arrest.” Since then, Pakistan has not offered any explanation as to why Islamabad took over three weeks to inform the Indian High Commissioner about Jadhav’s arrest.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 11, 2017.

Following this, India on May 8, 2017, approached the ICJ against Pakistan “for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963” in the matter.

India alleged that Pakistan is in breach of Article 36(1) (b) of the Vienna Convention, which obliged Pakistan to inform India of the arrest of Jadhav “without delay”.