The ‘Case Concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ or the ‘Jadhav Case’ is the fourth instance of a dispute between India and Pakistan finding its way to the International Court of Justice.
The ICJ will pronounce its verdict on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case on Thursday, just 10 days after India approached it demanding immediate suspension of the death sentence given to its former navy officer by a Pakistan military court.
Kulbhushan Singh Jadhav, an Indian Citizen, was sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on April 10, 2017. Pakistan claims that he “was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a Counter Intelligence Operation from Mashkel, Balochistan”. He is alleged to have been involved in ‘espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.’ Pakistan also claims that Jadhav had confessed that he had been tasked by RAW to impede efforts to stabilise Balochistan and Karachi.
India contends that Jadhav was abducted from Iran in 2016, and that his presence in Pakistan has not been explained credibly by the Pakistani government. Further, Pakistan has denied as many as 13 requests for consular access to Jadhav that were made between March, 2016 and March, 2017.
On April 10, following the death sentence, India issued a sharp demarcheto the Pakistani High Commissioner. Subsequently, the India-Pak Joint Defence Committee for Prisoners (IPJDCP), a forum of lawyers from both the countries, also petitioned the Pakistan Supreme Court against the death sentence.
On May 8, a month after the announcement of the death penalty, India instituted proceedings at the ICJ. It alleged “egregious violations” of the Vienna Convention, specifically Article 36 thereof. India also fileda ‘Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures’, pursuant to Article 41 of the ICJ Statute and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules ofCourt. It was prayed that the Court issue directions to the Government of Pakistan to ensure that Jadhav is not executed, pending the Court's final decision.