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India earned an international victory on Tuesday when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, stayed the hanging of former Indian navy officer Kulbhusan Jadhav.

The death sentence was passed by a Pakistani field general court marshal for spying. Indian efforts for consular meetings have failed and though India has presented a case to Pakistani courts, there has been no assurance that it would be considered. Hence the ICJ decision, coming a day after India approached the court is of some importance.

The basis of India’s complaint to the ICJ was that Pakistan had violated the Geneva Convention and India’s argument has been that Jadhav was involved in a business and certainly not in spying. India has said that Jadhav was captured by the Taliban and sold to the Pakistanis and he certainly was not carrying out any activity against Pakistani interests in the Balochistan area of that country. He was arrested in Balochistan March 3, 2016.

India-Pakistan matters are at the ICJ after 1971, when India’s withdrawal of overflight rights to Pakistan after the hijkacking of an Indian Airlines flight. This led that country to approach the ICJ, which had ruled in favour of Pakistan.

However, how much this ICJ judgement will be maintainable in Pakistan only time will tell.

For the full ICJ judgement click here

—India Legal Bureau

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