Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

United Nations orders Pakistan not to execute Indian man accused of spying

United Nations orders Pakistan not to execute Indian man accused of spying

The UN's top court is to rule Thursday on an urgent bid by India to stop Pakistan from carrying out a death sentence imposed on an Indian national convicted of spying.

"We are very happy with the world court's verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav's case".

"The provisional relief constitutes an essential first step in ensuring justice for Jadhav", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said at a briefing, hours after the ICJ asked Pakistan not to execute the alleged spy till final hearing of the matter.

Commenting on the ICJ ruling, Pakistan's Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali's Office said the ICJ's decision has not changed the status of Jadhav's case in any manner.

The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha also appreciated the fact that the ICJ had turned down Pakistan's request that it be allowed to play a purported confessional video at the hearing.

Jadhav was arrested on March 3 previous year and sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.

Following India's arguments, Pakistan, in its submission before the UN's highest judicial body, said India's application on Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities last month, was "unnecessary and misconceived" and must be dismissed.

India argues Jadhav was wrongly convicted for spying, while Pakistan says his legal process is ongoing and Pakistan has met its obligations under the Vienna Treaty on Consular Relations.

The worldwide court had conducted a hearing of the petition filed by India on May 15.

Denying the charges, Pakistan has maintained that it had requested an Indian assistance in the investigation of Jadhav's alleged "involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan", which it said New Delhi did not provide. The India team is expected to be present at the time of the verdict.

According to the report, the United Nations panel has raised concerns over Pakistan government's habit of "detain any person suspected of committing an offence under the Act for up to three months without review or the possibility of a habeas petition and allowing the detention without trial of up to a year of any person suspected of being involved in the activities of a proscribed organisation".

The last time India and Pakistan took a dispute to the ICJ was in 1999 when Islamabad protested against the downing of a Pakistani navy plane that killed 16 people.

Pakistan sought to play down the significance of the order. The fate of that is also unknown, despite Pakistani claims that Jadhav "would be provided every opportunity and remedy available under the law to defend his case".

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