27-May-2017
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UN court unanimously stays Jadhav’s execution till final verdict

NEW DELHI May 19: Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death in Pakistan, got a reprieve as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in an order watched keenly in both countries, unanimously stayed his execution, Deccan Herald reported.
 
Delivering an interim order on a plea by India, the highest UN court rejected Pakistan's contention that it lacked jurisdiction in the case and held that India had a "plausible" right to access to Jadhav.
 
The earliest he could have been executed was May 19, but the ICJ order compels Pakistan to wait for the verdict after the full hearing, which could take many years.
 
"Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision... and shall inform the court of all measures taken in implementation of the present order," court president Ronny Abraham said.
 
India had rushed to the ICJ on May 8 fearing that Jadhav might be executed any time, and had sought a legal restraint on Pakistan.
 
It argued that the matter came under the purview of the ICJ because Pakistan had violated India's right, provided under the Vienna Convention, to have consular access to Jadhav.
 
It had also sought an urgent hearing by highlighting the risk of Jadhav's imminent hanging. In its provisional order, the ICJ said it had jurisdiction in the matter, and rejected Pakistan's argument that India had agreed to keep matters concerning national security out of the purview of the Vienna Convention.
 
The court said India had the right to seek consular access, and also acknowledged India's contention that Jadhav could be executed any time after Friday which would mark 40 days since a military court sentenced Jadhav to death.
 
During the arguments before the ICJ on Monday, Pakistan had countered India's plea for urgent intervention saying Jadhav would not be hanged before 150 days.
 
"The court notes that Pakistan has given no assurance that Mr Jadhav will not be executed before the court has rendered its final decision. In these circumstances, the court is satisfied that there is urgency in this case," the ICJ said.
 
The order was welcomed in India with a huge sense of relief. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and MEA officials as well as Salve, who successfully put forward India's case in the world court.
 
Swaraj later tweeted that India would "leave no stone unturned" to save Jadhav. MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay called the order a "great relief ". "ICJ has delivered a unanimous, favourable, clear and unambiguous order for India's request for provisional measures," he said.
 
"This order creates legally binding international obligations. We hope the verdict will end the egregious violation of Jadhav's rights," Baglay added. The provisional measures constitute the first step in what might be a long affair.