The Hague: Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a “spy” involved in terror activities, Pakistan today told the International Court of Justice while accusing India of using the world body as a stage for “political theatre” in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
The Court dismissed Pakistan’s notion of jurisdiction in the case, and further observed that Mr. Jadhav should have been given consular access as per Vienna Convention. It further rejected the argument put forth by Pakistan that consular access between India and Pakistan.
As per Vienna convention’s Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention
COMMUNICATION AND CONTACT WITH NATIONALS OF THE SENDING STATE
- With a view to facilitating the exercise consular functions relating to nationals of the sending State:
(a) consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them. Nationals of the sending State shall have the same freedom with respect to communication with and access to consular officers of the sending State;
(b) if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner.
Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall also be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this sub-paragraph;
(c) consular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation.
They shall also have the right to visit any national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district in pursuance of a judgment. Nevertheless,consular officers shall refrain from taking action on behalf of a national who is in prison, custody or detention if he expressly opposes such action.
- The rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving State, subject to the proviso, however, that the said laws and regulations must enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which the rights accorded under this Article are intend
“Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings,” the top UN court ruled in a unanimous and binding decision.
It also said that Pakistan should have given India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, rejecting Pakistan’s argument that a person convicted of espionage is not entitled to it.
The 11 judges agreed with India that there was urgency in the case, and noted that Pakistan had given no assurance that Mr Jadhav would not be executed till its verdict.
In an emergency hearing on Monday, New Delhi had called on the UN court to order Islamabad to suspend the execution of the former navy officer held guilty by a Pakistani military court of spying.
Mr Jadhav, 47, was arrested in March 2016 and Pakistani officials claimed he had confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services. He was sentenced to death last month. The president of the UN court, Ronny Abraham, read out the decision.