India moved ICJ as Jadhav’s life is under threat in Pak: MEA

RSTV Bureau

A day after International Court of Justice stayed the execution of Kulbushan Jadhav, government said it took a “carefully considered decision” to approach the International Court seeking a stay on the death sentence.

“We had made 16 requests for consular access which were denied despite requesting the government of Pakistan in verbal and writing through diplomatic channels. We got no response on getting documents of the case charge sheet or the court judgment” that ordered Jhadav’s death punishment, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

The ICJ on Tuesday  has suspended the death sentence on Jadhav, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday. However there is no information on status of appeal by Jadhav’s family against the order of the Pakistani military court

The order by the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) came a day after India approached it against the death sentence handed down to Jadhav by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial last month, official sources said.

The decision to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was taken in the case after careful deliberation said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson.

He said India made 16 requests for consular access to Jadhav but there was no response from Pakistan on the demand. Islamabad has also not responded to India’s request for papers relating to Jadhav’s case.

There is also no information on the status of appeal by Jadhav’s family against the order of a Pakistan military court which sentenced him to death on charges of “spying”.

Baglay also said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had written to Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz on April 27 requesting visa for Jadhav’s family.

 

Girls display painting of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'. in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Girls display painting of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of ‘espionage’. in Mumbai on Tuesday.

India, in its appeal to the ICJ, accused Pakistan of “egregious” violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.

ICJ President Ronny Abraham has reportedly written a letter to Pakistan government, asking it to act in such a way which would enable the implementation of any order the ICJ may issue in the case.

India, in its appeal, contended that it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights.

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage'.

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of ‘espionage’.

It further asserted that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the Pakistani authorities were denying India its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests.

“Referring to ‘the extreme gravity and immediacy of the threat that authorities in Pakistan will execute an Indian citizen in violation of obligations Pakistan owes to India’, India urges the Court to deliver an order indicating provisional measures immediately, ‘without waiting for an oral hearing’,” India’s appeal said.

Jadhav, 46, was given death sentence last month by the Field General Court Martial in Pakistan, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.

In its application, India had also informed the ICJ that it learned about the death sentence against Jadhav from a press release.

“India claims that ‘linking assistance to the investigation process to the grant(ing) of consular access was by itself a serious violation of the Vienna Convention’,” the ICJ release said.

The ICJ said India urged it to restrain Pakistan from carrying out the death sentence, and direct Islamabad to take steps to annul the decision of the military court.

Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.”

Jadhav was sentenced to death for “espionage and subversive activities”.

India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government.

India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav’s mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.

The appeal on behalf of Jadhav was given last month to Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua by Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, who also handed over a petition by Jadhav’s mother seeking the Pakistan government’s intervention for his release and expressing the desire to meet him.