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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Appropriate remedies due in the case, says ICJ

The ICJ had ruled in July this year that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer who was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

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New Delhi, Oct 31: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) found that Pakistan is violating its obligations in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav contributed to the reduction of tension between India and Pakistan. The bench led by Abdulqawi Yusuf said that the Pakistan is violating its obligations under Article 36 of Vienna Convention and appropriate remedies were due in the case, PTI reports. The ICJ had ruled in July this year that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer who was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017. The ICJ bench had also ruled that Pakistan had violated India’s rights to consular visits after Jadhav’s arrest. According to the ICJ, Pakistan “deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation.” India had welcomed the verdict of the ICJ, saying that the ruling of the court by a vote of 15-1 upheld India’s position in the case.

Article 36 says:

  1. With a view to facilitating the exercise of consular functions relating to nationals of the sending State: (a) consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them. Nationals of the sending State shall have the same freedom with respect to communication with and access to consular officers of the sending State; (b) if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph; (c) consular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation. They shall also have the right to visit any national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district in pursuance of a judgement. Nevertheless, consular officers shall refrain from taking action on behalf of a national who is in prison, custody or detention if he expressly opposes such action.
  2. The rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this article shall be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving State, subject to the proviso, however, that the said laws and regulations must enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which the rights accorded under this article are intended.
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