ICJ stays Jadhav’s hanging till it makes final ruling

Published: May 18, 2017
Legal Battle: View of the ICJ courtroom during the hearing of the case. PHOTO Courtesy: ICJ

Legal Battle: View of the ICJ courtroom during the hearing of the case. PHOTO Courtesy: ICJ

THE HAGUE: The United Nations’ top court on Thursday ordered a stay in the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the self-confessed Indian spy convicted by Pakistan for carrying out subversive activities in the country.

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

Jadhav was arrested in a counter-intelligence raid in Mashkel, Balochistan in March 2016. In a video confession released soon after, he confessed to being assigned by India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi with an aim to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan. He was convicted last month by a military court and sentenced to death.

The Court, the statement added, also stated that the Government of Pakistan shall inform it of all measures taken in implementation of the Order.

Pakistan at the ICJ

India denies Jadhav was a RAW agent but admits that he was a retired naval officer. It lodged a case in ICJ earlier this month, accusing Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking international human rights law. New Delhi also appealed for the court to impose emergency measures to suspend Jadhav’s execution until the legal battle in The Hague has concluded.

Pakistan maintained that the ICJ need not intervene as it had adhered to a 2008 bilateral treaty with India that supersedes the Vienna pact by stating that the right to consular access can be waived where ‘national security’ is at risk. Islamabad has also noted that Jadhav’s sentence remains subject to appeal and he is no immediate danger of execution. It described India’s decision to take its case to the UN court as ‘political theatre’.

The ICJ ruling did not favour the arguments of either side but was meant to prevent Pakistan from taking any irrevocable steps before the court can decide whether it has jurisdiction in the case and, later, which side is right or wrong.

Pakistan, India face off at The Hague

“Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings,” said the court’s president Ronny Abraham. He also ordered Pakistan to inform the tribunal that it has implemented the decision, and stressed that ICJ decisions are binding on all member states.

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. “The mere fact that Mr Jadhav is under a death sentence and might therefore be executed is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India,” he added. Therefore the court was ‘satisfied’ of the ‘urgency’ of the case.

“The court has given its ruling on provisional measures, which is basically a procedural process,” the Pakistani envoy at the ICJ, Moazzam Ahmad Khan, told reporters. “The court has said nothing on the merits or maintainability of the case.”

India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed the ruling and said in a tweet that it was “a great relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India.”

“I assure the nation that under the leadership of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi we will leave no stone unturned to save KulbhushanJadhav,” she said in another tweet.

India petitions ICJ for stay in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence

The tribunal has not yet decided whether it has jurisdiction to hear India’s case in full. It will now call for a more comprehensive filing from India before it decides on the matter. A final ruling could take months, if not years.

The ICJ was set up in 1945 to rule on disputes between nations in accordance with international law. The Vienna Convention has been a frequent subject of disputes at the ICJ, often in cases involving the United States. US authorities ignored a similar ICJ injunction in 1999 and executed a German national.

The last time India and Pakistan took a dispute to the ICJ was in 1999 when Islamabad protested the downing of a Pakistani navy plane that killed 16 people. But the tribunal decided it was not competent to rule in the dispute and closed the case. AGENCIES (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM NEWS DESK)


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Reader Comments (36)

  • Tyggar
    May 18, 2017 - 3:33PM

    A slap in the face of Pakistani militaryRecommend

  • Honest
    May 18, 2017 - 3:40PM

    Huge win…Court has sided with India…Pak a rogue nation..brings shame on its citizens repeatedlyRecommend

  • yaz
    May 18, 2017 - 3:42PM

    Did India give consular access in Ajmal Kasab case? NO!Recommend

  • Mir Masjidi
    May 18, 2017 - 3:51PM

    By dilly-dallying on this matter (sentencing and execution), perhaps because of trying to get as much mileage out of India as possible, Pakistan is now plunged in the midst of a public circus.Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    May 18, 2017 - 4:07PM

    Sharif – Jindal secret meeting bearing fruit

    at Pakistan’s expense.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    May 18, 2017 - 4:08PM

    Pakistan cannot ignore the verdict since it will backfire in future grievances like Indus water treaty or any other bilateral issue with any nation.Recommend

  • Prada
    May 18, 2017 - 4:20PM

    The court rejected the “confession” video and refused to even admit it as evidence. Members of the ICJ panel refused to even see it. There are few doubts over how such a “confession” was extracted.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 18, 2017 - 4:28PM

    So far Pakistan has played well.Recommend

  • Mirestan
    May 18, 2017 - 4:34PM

    Why is Pakistan hesitating to approach this court for Kashmir Issue? and see what is the answer?Recommend

  • Vineeth
    May 18, 2017 - 4:42PM

    Isn’t it evident? ICJ will have to agree that it has no jurisdiction on what happens in Indian territory with Indian citizens. Else Pakistan would have approached ICJ a long time back in all its desperate efforts to internationalize the Kashmir dispute.Recommend

  • Asad
    May 18, 2017 - 4:56PM

    We did not ask for it, Ajmal was an India just listen to his accent and decide. India has been staging such false flag ops and Uri was on of them.Recommend

  • Asad
    May 18, 2017 - 4:57PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Who will eventually win?Recommend

  • Rahul
    May 18, 2017 - 5:17PM

    @yaz: “Did India give consular access in Ajmal Kasab case? NO”

    That’s because you’ve Always denied him being a Pakistani citizen. Hence no one ever asked for counsellor access. Recommend

  • ssk
    May 18, 2017 - 5:18PM

    Your country told, Kasab is not a pakistani, then how do you ask for a access?????Recommend

  • powayman
    May 18, 2017 - 5:23PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: So far Pakistan has played well.
    Debatable. When Jadhav was first captured Pakistan seemed to be taking the moral high ground and India was rightly portrayed as the bad guy … but secret military trials followed but unnecessary death edicts ruined all that. Regardless of ICJ rulings Pakistan will have lost International stature – allowing the military to control this matter was a bad move. Recommend

  • Raj
    May 18, 2017 - 5:39PM

    Did pakistan ask for consular access? please check your factsRecommend

  • Khalid rashid
    May 18, 2017 - 5:40PM

    Mr honest don’t be so trigger happy .it is just the start .the party has just started .now when the actual hearing of the case will start ,the whole world would know what India had been doing in Baluchistan and Karachi .you have asked for it and now be brave to face the consequences .

    Your country foreign policy is based on Hatredwith Pakistan .just look couple of days back Pakistan was attending the conference in which practically half of the world was present. Incl top leaders.Mr Modi was welcoming Palestine president .

    Who is isolated India or PakistanRecommend

  • desi786
    May 18, 2017 - 5:44PM

    as plannedRecommend

  • zf
    May 18, 2017 - 6:25PM

    ICJ had no jurisdiction over 1999 shooting down of Pakistani plane in Pakistani territory by India, but magically has acquired jurisdiction now. Anyways, this should not change anything. A stay is not a final decision. Though on back foot now, Pakistan needs to form a proper argument on how and why (1) ICJ has no jurisdiction and the court was wrong to decide that, (2) prove to the court that Jadhav is a spy and is part of Ajit Doval’s offensive defense strategy, (3) use the passport and other documents Jadhav had to bring the court to an understanding that his activities were nothing short of terrorism.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 18, 2017 - 8:18PM

    When will ICJ ask India to act as per United Nations resolutions on Kashmir?Recommend

  • Sabi
    May 18, 2017 - 8:22PM

    This is a world of might is right so if you can afford and I hope Pakistan does just do what is in your national interest. This man Jadev is a mass killer and he must be treated per law of the land. End of the story.Recommend

  • Victory is in our NAME
    May 18, 2017 - 8:45PM

    This is NOT a victory for India, nor is it a LOSS for Pakistan. This court has slapped on its own face. Go and read the book “Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II: Keith Lowe …” This is a BIASED and INCOMPETENT court. If it was COURT was competent, why did the Genocide take place in Bosnia? Why is India rejecting the Kashmiri Freedom struggle and UN Resolutions on Kashmir for 70 years? and Blinding Kashmiri young boys and REFUSE ACCESS to the world journalists to KASHMIR???

    This temporary setback is always the PRECURSOR to the FINAL VICTORY. History tells that a nation becomes strong thru PATIENCE. We need to THANK ALLAH for his Mercy and make our Behavior Pious and Full of LOVE and HELPFULNESS for Fellow Citizens and our Neighbors.

    Start today and you will get VICTORY. Just look at Allah’s mercy on our Neighbors, the Islamic Republic of Iran. A Momin NEVER loses hope in the Mercy of Allah.Recommend

  • Paul
    May 18, 2017 - 9:09PM

    This man was directing his mercernaries to terorise Pakistanis in Pakistani Balochistan. Furtheemore had abused Iranian visa by entering Pak Balochistan from Iranian territory.Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    May 18, 2017 - 10:36PM

    This proves that Pakistan doesn’t have any self-reliance and sovereignty and our civil leadership has badly failed to defend Pakistan’s national interest in the ICJ and our PM is enjoying in China and Hong Kong despite all this defeat in ICJ of Pakistan army court’s decision.Recommend

  • ankur tayal
    May 19, 2017 - 12:02AM

    Was ajmal a pakistani? So u agree ? You guys are funny. I thought ajmal was part of indian falseflag. :DRecommend

  • Rex
    May 19, 2017 - 1:50AM

    When will Pakistanis actually read the UN Resolution instead of bleating about it?Recommend

  • Dipak
    May 19, 2017 - 2:20AM

    Dipak@Tyggar: Its time to replace Military and Mullahs and decent Civilian Government like Modi to takeover Pakistan.mNo Feudal, Military or Mullah in or around Government. Husain Haquani or Malala OK as PM.Recommend

  • utg
    May 19, 2017 - 2:25AM

    Later in court, the spy says he was tortured to lie about being a spy and he was kidnapped from somewhere else, court puts the spy in Indian custody until Pakistan can prove him wrong. Court finds Pakistan’s evidence inadequate, spy goes free.Recommend

  • Sun tzu
    May 19, 2017 - 3:01AM


    Pakistan never admitted Kasab was a Pakistani – so it never asked for consular access.Recommend

  • Sun tzu
    May 19, 2017 - 3:06AM

    have you ever actually read the UN resolutions on Kashmir? Step-1 – says Pakistan to vacate it’s side of Kashmir. Then comes Step-2 – India to vacate it’s side of Kashmir. — You cannot get to Step-2 without going through Step-1.Recommend

  • SD
    May 19, 2017 - 8:01AM

    @yaz: Pak Govt never accepted that KASAB is their citizen, Still their are 3-4 terrorist in Indian custody caught in Kashmir But Pak Not accepting that they are their citizen Recommend

  • Parekh
    May 19, 2017 - 8:50AM

    India had allowed Pakistani High Commission complete access during the Kasab trial and even allowed Kasab to write to the Pakistani envoy requesting help and assistance.

    Get your facts write bro….Pakistan were initially reluctant to accept the fact that he was Pakistani Citizen.Recommend

  • Parekh
    May 19, 2017 - 8:53AM

    India had allowed Pakistani High Commission complete access during the Kasab trial and even allowed Kasab to write to the Pakistani envoy requesting help and assistance.

    Get your facts right bro….Pakistan were initially reluctant to accept the fact that he was Pakistani Citizen.Recommend

  • Parekh
    May 19, 2017 - 8:53AM


    India had allowed Pakistani High Commission complete access during the Kasab trial and even allowed Kasab to write to the Pakistani envoy requesting help and assistance.

    Get your facts right bro….Pakistan were initially reluctant to accept the fact that he was Pakistani Citizen.Recommend

  • Alex
    May 19, 2017 - 9:18AM

    @Pakistani & @ Victory is in our name – both of you have shown your absolute ignorance while talking about UN Resolutions on Kashmir. Please go read the resolution on the UN website and then comment. You will realise that it is Pakistan that is not taking the first required sequential step for implementation of the UN Resolution. Your Government and media have been lying to you . Read and face the facts.Recommend

  • JKhan
    May 19, 2017 - 11:19AM

    A time frame must be determined for this ICJ to give its decision. This decision will not be binding on Pakistan unless Nawaz Sharif wishes to keep his part of the deal.Recommend

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