NEW DELHI: After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) put a stay on the death sentence given by Pakistan to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, defence experts in India on Wednesday praised the efforts by the Indian Government and asserted that Pakistani Military Court had no jurisdiction over Jadhav.
“As a military veteran, I am very happy to hear that our country has taken Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case to the ICJ and that it has granted a stay upon the execution. The fact of the matter is that Pakistani Military court had no jurisdiction over him. He is not subject to the Pakistani Army act. He was denied consular access. In such circumstances, India’s only option was to go to the ICJ, which has taken due cognizance of what India has said and issued a stay order,” defence expert G.D. Bakshi said.
Echoing similar sentiment, another defence expert Praful Bakshi praised the efforts by the Indian Government.
“Pakistan has been put under tremendous international pressure because of this. Though, China perhaps is supporting it, it is also getting oblique support from America. But as you know that the ICJ does not bother about these pressures, so that is why a stay order has been given. Now, the India has to prepare its case strongly. All the dossiers have to be prepared properly. Our case has to be put in an appropriate manner. I am quite sure we will have success in this,” Praful Bakshi told ANI.
The stay on the death sentence came after India instituted proceedings against Pakistan, accusing the latter of “egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations” in the matter of detention and trial of Jadhav, and sought a stay on his death sentence.
India on Monday contended that it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights, an official release from the ICJ said.
India further said that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the authorities of Pakistan were denying it its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite its repeated requests. It's also pointed out that India learned about the "death sentence against Jadhav from a press release."
India submitted that it had information that Jadhav was “kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy, and was then shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan” on March 3, 2016, and that the Indian authorities were notified of that arrest on March 25, 2016.
India also asked the ICJ to declare the decision illegal being violative of international law and treaty rights and 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 directing it to release the convicted Indian National forthwith, if Pakistan is unable to annul the decision.
Pakistan had claimed that Jadhav was arrested from the Baluchistan province last year. A military court sentenced him to death, alleging he was involved in espionage and anti-national activities. Pakistan also claimed that he was "a serving officer in the Indian Navy."
This led to an outrage in India and other countries, which criticised Pakistan for sentencing Jadhav to death with formally informing New Delhi.
India outrightly denied the claims, saying Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was running a business, and adding he was a retired Navy officer.
Pakistan has turned down 16 requests from India for consular access to Jadhav.