International Court of Justice Likely to Deliver Kulbhushan Jadhav Verdict on Thursday

The International Court of Justice is set to deliver its verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at around 3.30 pm IST on Thursday, Indian media reported.

The court will decide on India’s request to suspend the death sentence awarded to the Indian spy by a Pakistan military court.

On Monday, the court had heard arguments from both India and Pakistan and said that it would announce the verdict “as soon as possible.”

“A public sitting will take place at 12 noon at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, will read the Court’s Decision. The sitting will be streamed live and on demand (VOD) on the Court’s website as well as on UN Web TV, the United Nations online television channel,” read the statement released by ICJ on Wednesday.

Claiming that Pakistan had denied consular access to Jadhav at least 16 times, India’s counsel Harish Salve had stressed before the 11-judge bench at ICJ on Monday that not granting consular access and not giving legal representation of Jadhav’s choosing amounted to “miscarriage of justice” and “violation” of his right to defend himself. Deepak Mittal, joint secretary in charge of Pakistan in the Ministry of External Affairs, had also said,  “There is an immediate threat to him (Jadhav) to be executed even before a decision is passed.”

Pakistani counsel Khawar Qureshi sought “dismissal” of India’s application, adding that the Vienna Convention’s provisions on consular access were not intended for a “spy” involved in terror activities. He also said  there was “no urgency” in the case as the clemency process lasted 150 days. Asking the court not to entertain India’s application, Pakistan’s foreign ministry director general (South Asia & SAARC), Mohammad Faisal, accused India of using the ICJ for “political theatre.”

While India has maintained in its appeal that Jadhav had been “kidnapped from Iran” where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy, Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province. On April 10, the military court had sentenced Jadhav to death sentence for alleged “espionage and subversive activities.” India approached the ICJ on May 8 seeking suspension of the verdict.

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