The International Court of Justice will today deliver its judgement in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at 3.30 pm IST at the Peace Palace in the Hague, ten days after India submitted four provisional measures challenging the Pakistani military tribunal’s death sentence to the former Indian naval officer. India had enumerated four provisional measures in its appeal to the ICJ: declare the death sentence awarded to Jadhav illegal; being violative of international law and treaty rights; restrain Pakistan from acting in violation of the Vienna Convention and international law by giving effect to the sentence or the conviction in any manner; and if Pakistan is unable to annul the decision, direct it to release the convicted Indian national forthwith. Pakistan’s response to India’s accusations has been to claim that Jadhav was involved in espionage activities in the strife-torn province of Balochistan. India. however, claims that Jadhav was picked up by Pakistani agents in Iran, where he was staying for business. It is to be noted that Pakistan has turned down 16 requests by India for consular access to Jadhav, and the secrecy of the trial and summary execution order has caused an uproar in India.
India is represented by its ‘Agent’ Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry and the case is argued by its lead attorney Harish Salve. The India team is expected to be present at the time of the verdict.
During its submission to the ICJ on May 15 at a public hearing, India had demanded the immediate annulment of Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ was over. However, asserting that Jadhav’s execution was not imminent, Pakistan said he had 150 days to plead clemency. However, the ICJ denied permission to Pakistan to play the purported “confessional” video of Jadhav at the public hearing.
Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale meets Pak FS @TehminaJanjua. Puts forth India's demands, appeal for #Kulbhushan.@IndiainPakistan pic.twitter.com/gh5TMULqE2
— Geeta Mohan (@Geeta_Mohan) April 26, 2017
The judgement of the ICJ is not binding on the signatories of the Vienna Convention, though, and there have been more than one precedents of countries ignoring the ICJ decision and going ahead with executions of private nationals of the appealing nations. A positive ruling from the ICJ will not be a guarantee of clemency or the release of the Indian national, though it will definitely put more pressure on Pakistan.