New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Legal luminaries specializing in international law on Wednesday termed the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kulbushan Jadhav as a “big win” for India saying it exposed Pakistan as a rogue state which kidnaps foreign citizens, conducts farcical trials and denies human rights.
The ICJ ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav and asked it to reconsider the sentence awarded to him by a military court.
Speaking to IANS, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi said, “The decision of the ICJ is undoubtedly a big win for India, and it has internationally exposed Pakistan as a rogue state. There is hardly any judiciary in the country. The country is under military rule, as a consequence, they kidnap citizens of other countries and put them through false trials. Finally, justice triumphed, as a review of the sentence means that he will come back to India soon.”
The world court has directed Pakistan to grant India consular access to Jadhav, while holding that it had “breached” the Vienna Convention in this regard by denying him this right.
Commenting on the denial of consular access, senior advocate Vikas Singh said, “The world court recognized the gross injustice as by denying Jadhav consular access Pakistan blatantly breached the Vienna Convention. As the court asked Pakistan to reconsider the sentence to Jadhav, I do not think he will get a fair trial. It seems there will be a second trial at ICJ.”
The ICJ observed that even Pakistan, along with India, had acknowledged the fact that Jadhav was an Indian national. The court, in its ruling by 15-1, declared “a continued stay of execution” on Jadhav, saying it “constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence” of the accused.
The court found that Pakistan deprived India of the “right to communicate with and have access” to Jadhav to “visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation”, and thereby breached the obligations incumbent upon it under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
On the breach of Vienna Convention, senior advocate Amarendra Sharan speaking to IANS said, “It is great victory for India on all major points contested at the world court – Pakistan had no jurisdiction to conduct a trial on Jadhav, review of sentence and conviction, and the denial of the Pakistani authorities to consular access to Jadhav, which is equivalent to denial of human rights.”
The court had in May 2017 ordered a stay on Jadhav’s execution till the final verdict in the case after India approached it against the Pakistani military court’s award of death sentence in an opaque trial.
Pakistan “breached the obligations incumbent upon it” under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the ICJ observed. The court said Pakistan is “under an obligation” to inform Jadhav “without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him” in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.