ICJ: Death sentence on Kulbhushan Jadhav to remain on hold, Pakistan asked to reconsider conviction

The Hague: The death sentence of retired navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, accused by Pakistan of spying, will remain on hold until Islamabad effectively reviews and reconsiders his conviction, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Tuesday.

The world court, ruling in favour of India, granted it consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The verdict was 15 to one in favour of India.

The Court rejected, however, most of the remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court decision convicting Kulbhushan Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

India had challenged the “farcical trial” that Kulbhushan Jadhav was put through based on what it called an extracted confession, and had asked the world court to order Pakistan to annul the sentence and allow India consular access.

The verdict was read out at a public sitting of the United Nations court in The Hague.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, 49, was arrested by Pakistan in March 2016 and accused of espionage, a charge India has rubbished.

A year later, Mr Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court.

A month after the former officer’s death sentence, India took Pakistan to the world court, and the execution was stayed in May 2017.

Pakistan claimed that its security forces had arrested Mr Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he entered the country from Iran.

India asserted that he was kidnapped from Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

In ICJ hearings, India accused Pakistan of denying consular access to Mr Jadhav in violation of the Vienna Convention.