By FutureLaw Desk

The International Court of Justice has stayed the hanging of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “spying”.

According to PTI, the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed his execution following India’s submission that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business after retiring from the Navy.

Jadhav was given death sentence last month by the Field General Court Martial in Pakistan, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.

What does International Law say ?

Both India and Pakistan are both de facto members of the ICJ as the UN members. Both the countries also signed and ratified the Vienna Convention’s rules regarding settlement of disputes. Under the protocols, all disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of the Convention – which governs diplomatic relations between states – come under the “compulsory jurisdiction” of the ICJ.
According to the ICJ, any signatory state “undertakes to comply with any decision of the Court in a case to which it is a party.” Decisions by the court are binding and noncompliance is very rare. In its petition to the court, India requested that Pakistan’s sentencing of Jadhav be declared illegal and Islamabad directed to “release the convicted Indian national” in the event Pakistan does not annul its domestic judgment in the wake of the ICJ’s ruling.

Photo by CNN

Background of the Case

Kulbhushan Jadhav, a 1991 commissioned naval officer, was arrested in March 2016 by Pakistan authorities on the charges that he was dealing with Balochistan freedom fighters. The allegation was that Jadhav, who retired in 2013, was an active Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent, a charge denied by India. RAW is the primary foreign intelligence agency of India. India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government.

The Pakistani intelligence agency ISI’s public relations department issued a statement confirming the news. A military court sentenced him to death on 10 April. India has sought consular access 15 times but Pakistan has denied it every time. Indian authorities say they have not been informed about the whereabouts of Jadhav or the condition he is in. India had said that if the death sentence is carried out, it would be considered a case of pre-meditated murder.

The ICJ is the principle judicial arm of the United Nations and settles disputes between member states in accordance with international law. The following press release of ICJ provides the glimpse of the case –

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Source: CNN