Skip to content


25 July 2019
Rahul Arvind Chand

On the 17th of July 2019 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in favour of India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case against Pakistan. India knocked the doors of the International Court to review the conviction of one of its citizens, Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav which India claims was kidnapped from Iran and falsely accused for spying in Pakistan and was given death sentence in an egregious military court denying Jadhav any consular access. India instituted the proceedings against Pakistan on the grounds of violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 in the matter of arrest, detention and trial of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav. 

The following case falls under the purview of Public International Law (PIL). An international law, also referred to as public international law or the law of the nations is body of the rules established by international custom or a treaty recognised by nations as binding in their relations with one another. States consent to the international law via a convention or a treaty for it to come into enforcement and are bound by the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties (VCLT). The International Court of Justice is the is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The ICJ’s primary functions are to settle international legal disputes submitted by states and give advisory opinions on legal issues referred to it by the UN.

The Court found many serious contraventions of the international law by Pakistan and therefore stayed the death sentence of Jadhav. In its ruling the 15-member bench had only one judge dissenting and that too from Pakistan while others were of a consensus view. This was an embarrassment for Pakistan that denied any wrongdoing and was trying to subdue Jadhav’s rights under article 36 of the Vienna Convention. The Court also in its ruling clarified that the judgement was binding, and no further appeals can be made on the matter.

I followed the entire discourse on TV quite closely shortly after the full judgement came out of the Peace Palace in Hague, the administrative centre of the ICJ. I recalled the night watching live streaming of the submissions made by Senior Advocate Harish Salve from the Indian side and listening to the arguments by Pakistan legal representative and was sure that Pakistan was going to fall flat on their faces. Pakistan’s representative lawyer Khawar Qureshi said: “India is living in a wonderland. It is sitting on a weak wall of lies just like Humpty Dumpty and on one day will have a great fall.”  Today I am compelled to ask so who had a great fall ? Certainly not India.

So Pakistan fails at proving that Indian Navy officer was a “spy” and Jadhav was an “instrument of India’s official policy of terror”.  The country that has failed so badly with strife terrorism and nosediving economy thinks that by falsifying issues they can taint the image of India. Indian PM, Modi must be commended for teaching them a lesson by taking the case to the ICJ.

India had moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against the “farcical trial” by the military court of Pakistan against 48-year-old Jadhav. Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India. 

The full judgement and chronological sequence of events is available here:


%d bloggers like this: