International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Judge Abduylqawi Yusuf told the UN General Assembly that Pakistan has violated its obligations under the Vienna Convention in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on “charges of espionage and terrorism”. India, on the other hand, has maintained that he was running a business in Iran from where he was abducted and illegally taken to Pakistan.
Tabling the ICJ report before the 193-member General Assembly on Wednesday, Yusuf said in its July 17 verdict the principal judicial organ of the United Nations “found that Pakistan had violated its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and that appropriate remedies were due in this case.”
In a major diplomatic victory for India, ICJ had ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav after a closed trial in April 2017.
India had argued that consular access was being denied to Jadhav in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The bench led by Yusuf had ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.”
While elaborating on several aspects of the Court’s ruling in Jadhav’s case before the General Assembly, Yusuf said one of the issues that the Court had to examine was the question of whether the rights relating to consular access, set out in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, were in any manner to be excluded in a situation where the individual concerned was suspected of carrying out acts of espionage.
“The Court noted in that regard that there is no provision in the Vienna Convention containing a reference to cases of espionage; nor does the Article concerning consular access, Article 36, exclude from its scope certain categories of persons, such as those suspected of espionage. Therefore, the Court concluded that Article 36 of the Vienna Convention was applicable in full to the case at hand,” he said.
“Taking into account the particular circumstances of the Jadhav case, the Court noted that Pakistan’s making of the notification some three weeks after Mr. Jadhav’s arrest constituted a breach of its obligation to inform India’s consular post “without delay”, as required by the provisions of the Vienna Convention,” he noted.
He further said the Court considered the reparation and remedies to be granted, after it had found that the rights to consular access had been violated.
On September 2, India was granted consular access to Jadhav for the first time since he was detained in 2016. After ten days, Pakistan had said that there was no plan to permit such a meeting again.
With PTI inputs