International Court of Justice (ICJ) gave its verdict today, ruling in favour of India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
India told the ICJ that immediate steps must be taken to stop Pakistan's from carrying out the death sentence of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.
The decision of the 11-judge bench was unanimous, ICJ President Ronny Abraham said while reading out the verdict. "It is clear that as long as a final decision does not come Jadhav should be safe", he said, adding that the ruling would help in finding remedy to "violation of Jadhav's rights and also the violation of worldwide convention by Pakistan".
The court, formally known as the International Court of Justice, is the UN's court for hearing disputes between states and its rulings are binding.
The death sentence to Jadhav was handed out by a Pakistani military court on 10 April on charges of espionage.
"I personally was very relieved and I'm sure every Indian is relieved to hear this order", Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Gopal Baglay said. "It is appreciated that the world court saw reason in the Indian appeal", he said in a statement.
Outlining the reasons for its decision, Abraham said Pakistan had "given no assurance" Jadhav would not be executed before the court delivered its final decision.
Pakistan had denied India, consular access to Jadhav who was awarded a death sentence by Islamabad military court for alleged espionage activities. Indian lawyers argued that the restrictions amounted to a breach of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. India had demanded the immediate suspension of Jadhav's death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ was over.
"Pakistan has entered a revised declaration under Article 36 (2) of the Statute of ICJ (International Court of Justice) on 29th March, 2017". Pakistan, in turn, argued that Jadhav was a spy and India's plea was "misconceived".
The court recognised that both India and Pakistan were in a dispute on the facts of the case, and on the question of granting consular access, since Pakistan had been using the 2008 bilateral agreement on consular access as an alibi to not grant access to Jadhav.
Pakistan claims Jadhav, 46, was arrested in March previous year in the restive Balochistan province.
Pakistan reacted coolly, with the attorney general's office stressing that the outcome was an interim order "without prejudice to the final determination of the merits" of India's case.
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UN court orders Pakistan not to execute Indian national
The circumstances of Jadhav's arrest remain disputed, Judge Abraham said while reading out the world court's verdict. Qureshi said that India owns Jadhav as its national and that there should be no interference on Pakistani soil.
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