India welcomes ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav

New Delhi:  India 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." 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. PTI MPB ZMN