Kulbhushan Jadhav case: All you need to know ahead of ICJ verdict

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Netherlands is set to deliver its verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case today at 6.30 PM (IST).

Written by July 17, 2019 14:36

New Delhi: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Netherlands is set to deliver its verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case today at 6.30 PM (IST). The development is being keenly watched owing to its apparent implications on India-Pakistan relations.

The verdict is likely to be read out by President of the ICJ Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf at around 6:30 pm (IST) at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, President of the court, will read out the decision at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, 49, who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of spying for India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, is a retired Indian Navy officer. The Pakistani military court sentenced Jadhav on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

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

4-day hearing of Jadhav case at ICJ

The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete.

The four-day hearing in Jadhav’s case started on February 18 at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague.

India argued on February 18 and 20, Pakistan responded on February 19 and 21. India was represented by former Solicitor General Harish Salve and External Affairs Ministry Joint Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) Deepak Mittal, and Pakistan by Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan while Khawar Qureshi was legal counsel.

India has contended that it had not been informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan had failed to inform the accused of his rights.

India further alleged that in violation of the Vienna Convention the authorities of Pakistan had denied India its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests.

On May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.

In February this year, the ICJ rejected five pleas made by Pakistan during the hearing of Jadhav’s case, including the playing of so-called “confessional statement” of the Indian national and a request to adjourn the hearing citing illness of its ad-hoc judge.

Timeline of Kulbhushan Jadhav case:

July 4, 2019: ICJ announced that it will deliver its final judgment on July 17.
19 February 2019: The ICJ began its four-day public hearing where India asked UN top court to annul Jadhav’s conviction.

18 February 2018: Public hearing in Kulbhushan Jadhav case
20 November 2018: Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj sought diplomatic access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.
17 April 2018: India filed its second round of pleadings to the ICJ at The Hague.
17 July 2018: Pakistan submitted its second counter-memorial in the ICJ on the conviction of Kulbhushan Jadhav.
9 May 2017: The ICJ puts a stay on the death sentence given by Pakistan to Kulbhushan Jadhav after an appeal from India, which accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention”.
8 May 2017: India moved a petition in the UN seeking justice for Jadhav after being denied 16 consular accesses, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan.
26 April 2017: Pakistan denied India’s 16th request for consular access to Jadhav.
10 April 2017: Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a press release informed that Jadhav had been awarded the death sentence by a military court in Pakistan.
6 January 2017: Pakistan announced that it has submitted a dossier to the new United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres over Indian interference in Islamabad, which was aimed at “destabilising” the nation.
7 December 2016: Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz confirmed that conclusive evidence against Kulbhushan has not been found. Pakistan Foreign Ministry released a statement the same day stating that the statement attributed to the Adviser is incorrect.
25 March 2016: Indian authorities are notified about Jadhav’s arrest in a press release.
3 March 2016: Kulbhushan Jadhav, retired navy officer accused to be an Indian Intelligence agency RAW’s operative arrested in Balochistan.