India is confident of a favourable verdict at the International Court of Justice on Wednesday when it delivers its judgement in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, an Indian national held prisoner by Pakistan on allegations of espionage.
The Indian side would be looking at three crucial breaches where the ICJ would be delivering its judgement – denial of consular access under Vienna Convention, delay in informing India of holding an Indian national prisoner, not informing Jadhav of his consular rights.
While India has sought annulment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence and his immediate release since the procedure followed by Pakistan was shrouded in secrecy and lacked credibility, the opinion of the court and relief in form of consular access and review and reconsideration of the case itself would be a vindication for India and considered a huge victory.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016. According to Pakistan, he was apprehended in Balochistan province, but India continues to maintain that the retired Indian Navy officer was kidnapped from Iran, where he was running a business.
There is a possibility that the judges would not be too adventurous with their judgement and stick to the jurisdiction of the court. In that, the ICJ in all probability would deliver with certainty on consular access and may ask for a review of the case in light of the submissions made.
The judgement of ICJ is final and binding. There is no other place for review. Although many countries, including the US and China, have been known to violate the rulings of the world court. The only other body to seek redressal from such violations is the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Given that they are P5 nations, approaching the UNSC would have been a futile effort.
But, that is not the case with countries that are not permanent members of the Security Council. Therefore, any judgement at the ICJ on Kulbhushan Jadhav would have to be abided by both parties, India and Pakistan.
Interestingly, the Jadhav verdict comes on International Justice Day. July 17 is the International Justice Day or World Day for International Justice, also referred to as the Day of International Criminal Justice.