ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Cases of espionage in Vienna pact ambit too

The ICJ ruling in favour of India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case is built on India’ main contention that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav.

Published: 18th July 2019 01:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2019 10:30 AM   |  A+A-

Kulbhushan Jadhav (Photo | ANI Twitter)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The ICJ ruling in favour of India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case is built on India’ main contention that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav.

The court rejected Pakistan’s contention that espionage cases were outside the Vienna Convention ambit. 

Holding Pakistan guilty of the violation, the ICJ said, “The court observes that neither Article 36 nor any other provision of the Vienna Convention contains a reference to cases of espionage...Article 36 of the Convention does not exclude from its scope certain categories of persons, such as those suspected of espionage.”

India had told the ICJ that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access and legal assistance from India to Jadhav which made it a fit case for annulment of death sentence.

Ruling in favour of India, the ICJ said Pakistan violated the Convention by failing to inform India immediately of his arrest by not informing Jadhav of his rights and preventing him from contacting India’s consular post and also by denying Indian officials access to him despite repeated requests. 

“...Pakistan’s contention that Jadhav was allowed to choose a lawyer for himself, but that he opted to be represented by a defending officer qualified for legal representation, even if it is established, does not dispense with the consular officers’ right to arrange for his legal representation.

There was a delay of some three weeks between Jadhav’s arrest on March 3, 2016 and the notification made to India on March 25,  2016,” said the ICJ. 

Pakistan’s argument that denial of consular access was based on a 2008 agreement between the two countries, too, failed to convince the ICJ.

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