Global court orders Pakistan to halt execution of alleged Indian spy

Virender Sehwag on Thursday hailed the ruling of ICJ, which stayed Pakistan's execution on Kulbhushan Jadhav until it rules on the merit of the case.

A Pakistan military court had awarded the death sentence to former Indian naval officer Jadhav on April 10 for alleged "espionage and subversive activities".

Amid the court proceedings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, President of the ICJ, Ronny Abraham said that India should have been given consular access as per Vienna convention.

He said the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir is deteriorating.

Overruling Pakistan's contention that ICJ has no jurisdiction over the matter, an eleven-member bench said that it has prima facie jurisdiction in the case after Pakistan's failure to give consular access to India.

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Jadhav was reportedly arrested from Pakistan's Balochistan province on March 3, 2016.

Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "The ICJ order has come as a great relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India".

Pakistani representatives, however, told the court Jadhav had confessed to having been sent by India "to wage terror on the innocent civilians and infrastructure of Pakistan".

The global court of justice, sometimes referred to as the world court, is the UN's court for hearing disputes between states.

At hearings on Monday, India called Jadhav's trial a "serious miscarriage of justice" because he wasn't allowed to see Indian diplomats or choose his own defense lawyer.

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Meanwhile, Pakistan Attorney General's Office said the ICJ has just maintained status quo in the case and Islamabad is determined to pursue this case to its logical end.

While Indian partisans celebrated the court order, experts said Pakistan's powerful military could still take the high-risk decision to proceed with the execution and defy the court - for which there is precedent. On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

In Jadhav's case, Pakistan claimed that its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 a year ago after he reportedly entered from Iran.

"The basic rights of Jadhav were thrown to the winds", he said.

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