India Thursday asked Pakistan to immediately grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in sync with the verdict of the International Court of Justice and asserted that the ruling in the case by the world court is a complete vindication of its stand.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also slammed Pakistan for claiming victory in the case saying Islamabad has its own compulsions to “lie” to its people.
“The ICJ judgement is a complete vindication and validation of India’s position in this case,” he told a weekly media briefing, strongly rejecting Pakistan’s claim of victory in the case.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.
India had approached the ICJ against the military court’s decision in May, 2017 and the world court stayed his execution then.
Rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, the court in its 42-page order held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav.
The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.
The ICJ, by a vote of 15-1, upheld India’s stand that Pakistan is in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 on several counts in the case.
It asked Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav without further delay, besides ensuring an effective review of the case while extending the stay on his execution.
“Pakistan has been asked to provide consular access to Jadhav and they have to do it,” Kumar said.
He said the ICJ press release on the verdict in the case mentioned eight points and all the points reflected that the verdict has gone in favour of India.
“Frankly, it seems to me they (Pakistan) are reading from a completely different verdict. The main verdict is of 42 pages. If there is no patience to go through 42 pages, they should go through the press release, where each and every point is in favour of India,” said Kumar, referring to Pakistan’s claim of victory.
Asked what will happen if Pakistan does not comply with the court order, he said the ICJ clearly mentioned that the “judgement is final, binding and without appeal”.
He said Pakistan is obliged to act on the directive of the ICJ as it is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and the verdict is binding on Islamabad.
“Pakistan should take all measures to provide for effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentencing of Jadhav. This should include enacting appropriate legislation,” Kumar said. Asked whether India will make a fresh request for consular access to Jadhav, he said nothing new will be done now as previous requests for consular access were pending with that country.