New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a major relief for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday asked Pakistan to review its conviction and sentencing of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, facing execution on charges of spying. The Court, however, rejected most of the remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court decision convicting Kulbhushan Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

The twists and turns in the case delayed the verdict for more than two years from the International Court of Justice. Here are some of the main highlights of the case so far:

Jadhav, 49, was allegedly "arrested" from Balochistan by Pakistani security agencies on March 3, 2016, after he entered the country from Iran as claimed by the Pakistani authorities. 

India has held that Pakistan, which faces several problems on its border with Iran, has been using the Jadhav case to blame India for its problems in Balochistan. It has used proxy groups such as Jaish al Adl against Iran and Iranian officials have spoken of Pakistan's sponsorship of terror activities along the Iran-Pakistan border.

It was only on March 25, 2016, that the then Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, had informed the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad of Jadhav's "arrest". Since then, Pakistan has, however, not offered any explanation as to why it took over three weeks to inform the Indian High Commissioner over Jadhav's arrest.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 11, 2017. Following this, India on May 8, 2017, approached the ICJ against Pakistan "for gross violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963" in the matter.

India alleged that Pakistan is in breach of Article 36(1)(b) of the Vienna Convention which obliged Pakistan to inform India of the arrest of Jadhav "without delay".

New Delhi said that the use of military courts for the trial of civilians is violative of due process standards of the ICCPR, and also of the minimum standards recognised as principles of international law. The Indian national was even denied the right to be defended by a legal counsel of his choice.

But, India has succeeded in stopping Pakistan from taking the law into its own hands. Its approach to the ICJ led to stopping Pakistan from executing Jadhav. India has contended that it had not been informed of Jadhav's detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan had failed to inform the former Naval officer of his rights.

India alleged that in violation of the Vienna Convention, the Pakistani authorities had denied India its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests.

During the proceedings, India stressed that the entire trial and sentence by Pakistan's military court, which was based on "confession was taken under custody", without adequate legal representation was ridiculous. It said that it was in brazen defiance of the rights and protections provided under the Vienna Convention and the International Law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Subsequently, on May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.

In February this year, the ICJ rejected five pleas made by Pakistan during the hearing of Jadhav's case, including the playing of so-called "confessional statement" of the Indian national and a request to adjourn the hearing citing illness of its ad-hoc judge.

The four-day hearing in Jadhav's case started on February 18 at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague. In its final rejoinder, Pakistan had once again urged the ICJ to dismiss India's plea for relief for Jadhav.

On Wednesday, some of Jadhav's friends in Mumbai wore 'India with Kulbhushan' t-shirts and offered special prayers ahead of ICJ's verdict.

Posted By: Talib Khan