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Breaking: ICJ unanimously grants stay on Kulbhushan Jadhav execution [Read order]

Breaking: ICJ unanimously grants stay on Kulbhushan Jadhav execution [Read order]

Bar & Bench

The International Court of Justice today granted India’s request for provisional measures in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Effectively, Jadhav’s execution will now have to be put on hold pending the court’s decision on merits.

Here is how today’s verdict played out (read tweets from bottom up):

Breaking: ICJ unanimously grants stay on Kulbhushan Jadhav execution [Read order]
Breaking: ICJ unanimously grants stay on Kulbhushan Jadhav execution [Read order]

Delivering the verdict, President Ronny Abraham today decided that all the ingredients to determine whether the Court should grant provisional measures were fulfilled. He stated that the rights claimed by India were plausible, that there was a link between the rights asked for and the provisional measures, and that there was a risk of irreparable prejudice being caused if the Court did not interfere, given Jadhav’s situation.

He also determined that the ICJ had jurisdiction to invoke its power under Article 74. However, he clarified today’s decision in no way prejudges the jurisdiction of the Court to decide on merits of the case.

Pakistan has been directed to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the disposal of the case on merits. It is also required to report on the action taken in this regard to the Court.

Earlier this week, the ICJ Bench headed by President Abraham heard arguments from both countries on the issue of provisional measures under Article 74 of the Rules of the Court.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve represented India, while Khawar Qureshi, QC appeared for Pakistan.

Jadhav, an Indian national, was sentenced to death over allegations of espionage and terrorism by a military court in Pakistan. India approached the ICJ earlier this month, invoking its power under Article 74 of the Rules of the Court to grant provisional measures.

India has accused Pakistan of violating Article 36(1) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, in that the latter failed to inform them of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest.

In its letter to the ICJ, India claims 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. However, India was informed of his arrest only on March 25. India also stated that repeated attempts to provide Jadhav consular access have been turned down by Pakistan.

By way of relief, India had sought a suspension of the death sentence awarded by the military court, and has sought an order restraining Pakistan from giving effect to that sentence. It also asked the ICJ to grant interim relief by declaring the sentence violative of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and has sought the release of Jadhav.

In its application, India has also stated that Jadhav would be executed should the ICJ not interfere, and that would cause “irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India”. It also highlighted the urgency in the matter, as the appeal filed by Jadhav’s mother is likely to be disposed of soon.

Today’s verdict was delivered by a 11-judge bench of the ICJ. Apart from President Abraham, the other judges were James Richard Crawford of Australia, Dalveer Bhandari of India, Giorgio Gaja of Italy, Xue Hanqin of China, Hisashi Owada of Japan, Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade of Brazil, Joan E Donoghue of USA, Julia Sebutinde of Uganda, Patrick L Robinson of Jamaica, and Kirill Gevorgian of Russia.

Read the order: