The Hague-based International Court of Justice on Thursday said it will deliver on July 17 its verdict in the case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan.
Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India approached the ICJ in May 2017 against Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav.
India had also challenged the “farcical trial” by the military court of Pakistan against 48-year-old Jadhav. The ICJ on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
The ICJ, in a statement, said a public sitting will take place at 3 pm (6.30 pm IST) on July 17 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, the President of the Court, will read out the verdict.
The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the UN charter in June 1945 and it began its activities in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
The court held a four-day public hearing in the case in February during which both India and Pakistan submitted their detailed pleas and responses.
India based its case on two broad issues — breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution. It also urged the ICJ to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release, saying the verdict by a Pakistani military court based on a “farcical trial” and it failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.
Pakistan on its part insisted that the Indian Navy officer was a “spy” and not a businessman.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.
Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants to get the information gathered by its “spy”.
However, Pakistan facilitated a meeting of Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25, 2017.