India heaves a sigh of relief as ICJ stays Jadhav's execution

The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice

Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in a unanimous and binding decision that Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav must not be put to death by Islamabad until they have had time to pass final judgement in the case.

"The ICJ order has come as a great relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India".

The president of the court, Ronny Abraham, will read out the decision at midday (1000 GMT).

The 15-member bench backed India's contention that there had been a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as New Delhi's requests for consular access to its national had been denied 16 times.

However, he added that Pakistan "will present solid evidence against the Indian spy in the International Court".

In April, a Pakistani military court sentenced him to death. "@SushmaSwaraj ji and the entire Hague team", he said in another tweet congratulating External Affairs Minister. Mr Salve was not only part of the team that crafted India's arguments at the court, he also presented the case before the 11-judge bench on Monday in a almost one-and-a-half hour speech.

India filed a "Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures" at ICJ on May 8th to hold on the Government of Pakistan from executing Jadhav.

Talking to ANI, Jadhav's childhood friend Arvind Singh said he was hopeful that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would give a verdict in India's favour. "It also unanimously decides that the court must be told of the measures Pakistan takes to implement this order", ICJ president Ronny Abraham said in the operative portion of the order which he read out in the open court for almost 30 minutes. The Court further observes that Pakistan has indicated that any execution of Mr. Jadhav would probably not take place before the month of August 2017.

Pakistani authorities say Jadhav confessed to being assigned by India's intelligence service to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities in Baluchistan "aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan". Pakistan responded that the court should decline jurisdiction in the case.

- Relief by way of "immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded to the accused".

The lawyer told the court that Jadhav was kidnapped in 2016 from Iran where he was pursuing his business after retiring from the Indian Navy, brought to Pakistan and was shown to have been arrested in Balochistan and presented as an alleged Indian spy.

Pakistan, which announced the sentence on Jadhav on April 10, claims its security forces arrested him from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 a year ago after he reportedly entered from Iran. Pakistan argued that counsular access is not an absolute right under the Vienna treaty, and that a 2008 bilateral treaty between India and Pakistan supercedes it anyway.