Ahead of ICJ verdict, a look at how Pakistan violated international law in Kulbhushan Jadhav case

File photo of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 17, 2019, 12.05 PM (IST)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is expected to pronounce its verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Wednesday. Jadhav, a 49-year-old Indian national, was sentenced to death over allegations of espionage and terrorism by a military court in Pakistan on April 11, 2017.

But not only did Pakistan made an error by falsely implicating Jadhav, it also made "egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963" in the matter, said India as it moved the ICJ.

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 to defend himself by a legal counsel of his choice. India further said that in violation of the Vienna Convention, the authorities of Pakistan had denied India its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests - in fact, India was denied consular access to Jadhav 16 times.

According to Article 30 of the Vienna Convention, it was mandatory for Pakistan to inform Indian consular officers about Jadhav's address without delay. But Pakistan authorities failed to do so and informed the Indian High Commissioner three weeks after his arrest. On May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.

The verdict by Pakistan's military court was based on Jadhav's confession taken under custody, without proper legal representation and this was in clear violation of the Vienna Convention and the international law, including international covenant on civil and political rights. However, the international covenant on civil and political rights clearly states that use of military courts for the trial of civilians is in violation of due process standards.

Watch: Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict significant for Indo-Pak ties

In a statement in the Rajya Sabha on April 11, 2017, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had reiterated that Kulbhushan Jadhav has been awarded a death sentence by a Pakistani military court-martial on "concocted charges". "To make matters even more absurd, three hours after the death sentence was announced the Indian High Commission received an official communication from the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan reiterating the Pakistani proposal for conditional consular access. That tells us a lot about the farcical nature of the alleged proceedings which have led to an indefensible verdict against an innocent kidnapped Indian," Swaraj had informed the Upper House of Parliament.

"Our position on this matter is clear. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Jadhav. If anything, he is the victim of a plan that seeks to cast aspersions on India to deflect international attention from Pakistan's well-known record of sponsoring and supporting terrorism," she had further said in her statement.

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.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The verdict is likely to be read out by President of the ICJ Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf on Wednesday evening at the Peace Palace in The Hague