New Delhi: In a major victory for India in the high-profile Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague in the Netherlands on Wednesday held Pakistan guilty of a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations for its failure to give India consular access to the imprisoned former Indian naval officer, while directing Pakistan to provide “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence” (of death penalty) awarded earlier by a Pakistani military court to Jadhav.
The ICJ also held that the “continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence” of Mr Jadhav.
Pointing out that the ICJ has asked Islamabad to provide Indian consular officers access to Mr Jadhav in accordance with the Vienna Convention, New Delhi said it expected “Pakistan to implement the directive immediately”. In its reaction, a defiant Islamabad merely said it would “proceed as per the law” even as it accused Mr Jadhav of terror acts.
However, the ICJ did not grant India's plea "to annul the decision of the military court" and "to direct Pakistan to ... release Mr Jadhav and to facilitate his safe passage to India" on the grounds that "it is not the conviction and sentence of Mr Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention", and that it "is not to be presumed... that partial or total annulment of conviction or sentence provides the necessary and sole remedy" in cases of violations of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. A 16-member bench led by the Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, made all the rulings by a 15-1 vote margin.
The Jadhav saga: Three years of subterfuge, uncertainty, tension
March 3: Pakistan arrests Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer.
March 24: Pakistan claims Jadhav, “an Indian spy” arrested from the Balochistan province.
March 26: India claims there is no proof that Jadhav who owns a cargo business in Iran was arrested in Balochistan.
March 29: New Delhi seeks from Islamabad consular access to Jadhav. Over the next one year, it made 16 such requests which were denied by Pakistan.
April 10: A Pakistani army court sentences Jadhav to death “for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”. India warns Islamabad that it is a case of “premeditated murder”.
April 11: Then External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj makes a statement in both Houses of Parliament, that India will go “out of way” to ensure justice to Jadhav.
April 14: India demands from Pakistan a certified copy of the chargesheet as well as the judgment in the death sentence of Jadhav and seeks consular access to him.
April 20: India officially seeks from Pakistan details of the trial proceedings.
April 27: Sushma Swaraj writes to the then Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz requesting visa for Jadhav's family to visit him.
May 8: India approaches the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at Hague against Pakistan military courts decision.
May 9: The ICJ stays Jadhav's execution.
May 15: India and Pakistan cross swords at the ICJ over the case.
May 18: The ICJ tells Pakistan to put his execution on hold pending its final order.
December 26: Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his wife and mother, more than a year after he was arrested by the Pakistan Army and accused of spying.
April 17: India files 2nd round of written reply in the ICJ in Jadhav's case.
July 17: Pakistan submits its second counter- memorial in the ICJ on the conviction of Jadhav.
August 22: The ICJ sets February 2019 for hearing Jadhav's case.
November 21: Sushma Swaraj seeks diplomatic access to the former Indian Navy officer.
February 18: Four-day hearing in Kulbhushan Jadhav's case opens.
February, 19: India urges the ICJ to annul Jadhav's death sentence by a Pakistani military court and order his immediate release.
February 20: India questions the functioning of Pakistan's notorious military courts and urged the ICJ to annul Jadhav's death sentence.
February 21: Pakistan asks the ICJ to “dismiss or declare inadmissible” India's claim for relief to Jadhav.
July 4: The ICJ announces that it will deliver verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case on July 17.
July 17: In a major victory for India, the International Court of Justice rules that Pakistan must review the order that called for death sentence for Kulbhushan Jadhav and provide him consular access.