The International Court of Justice will deliver on Wednesday its verdict in the high-profile case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, whose death sentence by a Pakistani military court based on an "extracted confession" has been questioned by India.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India. President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf will read out the verdict during a public sitting which will take place at 3 pm (6.30 pm IST) on Wednesday at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.
Jadhav was kidnapped by Pakistani agencies on March 3, 2016, from Iran where he was in connection with his business. Pakistan, however, claimed that Jadhav was "arrested" in its restive province of Balochistan and labelled him a "spy". Pakistan informed India about it through a press release on March 25, 2016, 22 days after he was picked up.
India, as per the international diplomatic norms, immediately sought consular access to Jadhav on the same day and several times thereafter but it was not granted. Jadhav, who hails from Powai area of Mumbai and is 49-year-old now, was put to trial in a military court, instead of a civil court, and a death sentence was pronounced against him on April 10, 2017 following an opaque trial. During hearings at the ICJ last year, India sought Jadhav’s release and the quashing of his death sentence. It also asked for Jadhav’s custody to be declared illegal.
(Inputs from Agencies)