The International Court of Justice gave a preliminary verdict in India’s favour on May 18 in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence case. Harish Salve, the celebrity senior Supreme Court lawyer and former Solicitor General of India, recently represented Jadhav, for which he charged mere Re. 1 as a token amount.
Salve said that he has done no more than what any Indian citizen would do. He said “For me, this is not a commercial case. It was a public duty. Any citizen of India would have done that. It was of no great moment.” Salve took up the case free of charge or pro bono as, the stakes were too high for India, as the Indian front got its first round of victory against Pakistan in the ICJ.
The International Court of Justice, which is established at the Hague, stayed the execution decision by Pakistan Military Court against Jadhav, who is a 46 years old Indian Navy officer. The Pakistan court has sentenced Jadhav on the charges of espionage and subversive activities.
The ICJ has instructed Pakistan to “take all necessary measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not sentenced to death before it takes a final decision on the matter.”
It is important to note that a stay of order does not mean a stay of execution. Nonetheless, the decision of the International court came as a relief for entire country who is invested in Jadhav’s safe return to India.
Salve’s Re. 1 legal fee and ICJ’s decision has been applauded by many Indian politicians who welcomed the court’s unprejudiced decision. "The case against Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan was a sham and was in gross violation of international law as his execution was ordered by a kangaroo court without consular access. It is appreciated that the world court saw reason in the Indian appeal," said Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Amidst India’s victory and celebrations, Pakistan continues to maintain its stand that Indian had no substance in the case. The Pakistan Attorney General said the court has "clearly underscored that the provisional measures are without prejudice to the final determination of the merits and jurisdiction of the case".
The Pakistan front stressed that such provisional measures have no bearing at all on the final decision of the country’s court and are merely a procedural process only to enable the court to have full consideration at a later hearing.
The ICJ’s decision has brought momentary, but significant victory to India against Jadhav’s uncorroborated sentencing by Pakistan. Now, it is up to Pakistan to accept the ICJ’s decision and stay Jadhav’s execution or neglect it.
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