NEW DELHI: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will on Wednesday deliver its verdict in a case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.
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.
‘Espionage and terrorism’
Jadhav, a 49-year-old former Naval officer has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on alleged charges of espionage and terrorism. India has repeatedly sought consular access to Jadhav since March 2016, when the High Commission of India in Islamabad was first informed of his custody with Pakistan authorities.
Following this, India had approached the ICJ against Pakistan “for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963” in the matter.
The Indian side is expected to be represented by Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran) Deepak Mittal and officials from the Legal and Treaties Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Pakistan’s legal team, headed by Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan has reached The Hague in the Netherlands, where the ICJ is headquartered. The team also included Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal.
India on Jadhav’s arrest
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.
Subsequently, 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.
The four-day hearing in Jadhav’s case started on February 18 at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague.