International Court of Justice suspends Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death penalty

Pakistan military in Balochistan

Pakistan military in Balochistan

India had approached the ICJ to stop Kulbhushun Jadhav's execution after he was sentenced by a Pakistani military court in April 2017.

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.

India has also accused Pakistan of harassing Jadhav's family in 2017 during a meeting that was held in an "atmosphere of coercion".

Relations between nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan have warmed slightly in recent days after several tense months following border skirmishes in the disputed region of Kashmir in February.

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Jadhav was taken into custody in the Balochistan province bordering Iran on March 3, 2016, but India was informed only on March 25, 2016.

India based its case on two broad issues - breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution.

Harish Salve said that ICJ directed a fair trial in accordance with the Pakistan constitution but if it's back in the military court with the same rule where outside lawyers aren't allowed, the evidence isn't given then it won't meet standards.

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"Delhi defeated. ICJ knocks out India's major demands about #KulbhushanJadhav about his release and annulment of sentence, practically admits he is a spy, asks Pakistan for review sentence through its own means with consular access", he said. India has rejected Pakistan's claims and has always maintained that Jadhav was in Iran on a business trip.

Meantime, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that "we welcome today's verdict".

The Foreign Office said that Pakistan, as a responsible member of the global community "upheld its commitment from the very beginning of the case by appearing before the honourable court for the provisional measures hearing despite a very short notice".

"A continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition" for the review of the death sentence, it added.

India asked that the death sentence be declared violative of worldwide law and suspended, and that Pakistan be restrained from giving effect to it and directed to annul the decision - failing which ICJ should declare the conviction and sentencing illegal, and direct Pak to release Jadhav immediately.

Kulbhushan Jadhav's friends watched the telecast wearing "India with Kulbhushan" T-shirts and also offered special prayers ahead of the ICJ verdict. He also argued that Pakistan had made three attempts to derail proceedings in the ICJ, all of which failed.

Neither India nor Pakistan would be able to claim victory after the ICJ verdict.

Pakistan legal team on Tuesday reached The Hague in the Netherlands, a day before International Court of Justice (ICJ) is expected to announce its verdict in Kulbushan Jadhav case.

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