The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will announce its verdict in the Kulbushan Jadhav case on Wednesday with India hoping for a verdict in favour of the former Indian Navy officer who is on a death row in Pakistan on charges of spying for RAW.
An Indian team, comprising senior officials and some of the best legal brains, will be present when the Hague-based court delivers its verdict at around 1830 hrs IST. The ICJ had concluded its hearings in the case on 21 February.
The verdict could have significant implications for the future course of Indo-Pak relations which are already under tremendous strain since the Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy in February.
Pakistan claims it arrested Jadhav on 3 March 2016 when he attempted to cross over into the country from the Saravan border in Iran in pursuit of targets set by his RAW handlers. New Delhi has rubbished Pakistan’s claim, asserting that the Indian national was abducted by Pakistani agencies from Iran where he was running a business.
Pakistan subsequently conducted a farcical trial of Jadhav in a military court and sentenced him to death. Pakistan Army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav in April 2017.
Pakistan also refused to give consular access to the Indian prisoner despite repeated requests by New Delhi. In June 2017, Jadhav filed a mercy petition against the death penalty. However, it was rejected by Pakistan, forcing India to approach the ICJ. India sought annulment of Jadhav’s execution and his immediate release by Pakistan. The court, during its hearings, asked Pakistan to stay his execution till it delivers its final verdict.