India took Pakistan to the United Nations’ highest court Monday in an attempt to save the life of an Indian naval officer sentenced to death last month by a Pakistani military court after being convicted of espionage.
In April, Pakistan delivered a death sentence to Jadhav (who was arrested on March 3, 2016), holding him responsible for alleged “espionage and sabotage activities”. In response, India sent across 16 requests, asking Pakistan to grant consular access to its former naval officer. However, after having those pleas systematically shot down, it approached the United Nation’s judicial arm, on May 8, 2017.
India claims that Pakistan breached a long-standing international convention on consular relations by not granting Indian officials access to Kulbhushan Jadhav after his arrest last year.
“It is clear that Mr. Jadhav has been denied the right to be defended by a legal counsel of his choice. He has not been informed of his right to seek consular access,” Mittal said, adding that the conviction and death sentence appeared to be based on a confession made while “in captivity without proper legal representation.”
Pakistan challenged India’s argument, stating that Atlantique was in fact, flying in its own air space, in an operational area which was approximately 70 to 90 miles east of Karachi. In view of this, Pakistan claimed damages, demanding India to shell out $60 million as compensation. India, ignored the demand.
In April, a four-day long open hearing was held. After two months, on June 21, 2000, ICJ gave its decision: it rejected Pakistan's case, presuming that the Court couldn't react or engage the application documented by Pakistan, since the case did not go under its ward. A seat of 16 judges had voted 14-2.
However, ICJ mentioned that although this dispute did not come under its jurisdiction, it did not mean that the States were not obliged to peacefully and respectfully settle their differences.
Pakistani officials have said that Jadhav has the right to appeal to a military appeals court or petition the army chief for mercy. Also, under the constitution, Pakistan’s president could pardon Jadhav.
The Pakistani officials say Jadhav has been linked to 1,345 deaths in acts of terrorism in Pakistan, using fake ID to make secret trips to Pakistan from Iran before his arrest in 2016.
The case is likely to take months or years to resolve, so India is asking the world court to immediately order Pakistan to “take all measures necessary” to prevent Jadhav’s execution pending the final outcome.
The court’s president already has written to Pakistan urging it to take no action that could affect the hearings – effectively a request to prevent the death sentence being carried out.