India on Wednesday welcomed the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) asking Pakistan to review the death sentence for Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav and granting consular access to him. Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar said the ruling of the court by a vote of 15-1 upheld India's position in the case.
"This landmark judgement validates India's position on the matter," he said, adding, "We will continue to work vigorously for Kulbhushan Jadhav's early release and return to India."
The External Affairs Ministry, in a statement, said: “We welcome the judgement delivered just now by the International Court of Justice in The Hague in favour of India in the case relating to Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav.”
“The Court, by a vote of 15-1, has upheld India's claim that Pakistan is in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 on several counts,” it added.
“We also appreciate the direction by the International Court of Justice that Pakistan should review and reconsider the conviction and sentence given to Shri Jadhav by the Pakistani military court,” the statement read.
“We note that the Court has directed that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Shri Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with the Vienna Convention. We expect Pakistan to implement the directive immediately.
This landmark judgement validates India's position on this matter fully. We will continue to work vigorously for Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav's early release and return to India,” the MEA said.
In a major victory for India, the ICJ ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav.
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.
A bench led by President of the court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an "effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav".
The bench also ruled that Pakistan had violated India's rights to consular visits after Jadhav's arrest.
According to the ICJ, Pakistan "deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation".
Kumar said India appreciated the direction given by the ICJ that Pakistan should review and reconsider conviction and sentence awarded to Jadhav.
"We note that the court has directed that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular access to him in accordance with Vienna Convention. We expect Pakistan to implement directive immediately," he said.
(With PTI inputs)