The International Court of Justice will deliver on July 17 its verdict in a 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 Pakistan 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 p.m. local time (6.30 p.m. IST) on July 17 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.
The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete.
Here is the chronology of events in the case:
March 3, 2016: Kulbhushan Jadhav is arrested.
March 24, 2016: Pakistan security forces claim Jadhav, “an Indian spy” arrested from southern Balochistan.
March 25, 2016: First reports of Jadhav arrest emerge, Pakistan summons envoy on ‘spy’ arrest, India rejects claims.
March 26, 2016: India claims there is no proof that Jadhav, a retired Navy officer, who owns a cargo business in Iran, was arrested in Balochistan as claimed by Pakistan.
March 29, 2016: New Delhi seeks from Islamabad consular access to Jadhav. Over the next one year, India made 16 such requests which were denied by Pakistan.
April 10, 2017: A Pakistani Army court sentences Jadhav to death for “for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”. India warns Islamabad that it is a case of “premeditated murder”.
April 11, 2017: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj makes a statement in both the Houses of Parliament, asserting that India will go “out of way” to ensure justice to Jadhav who is an “innocent kidnapped Indian”.
April 12, 2016: According to a media report, Jadhav was charged with terrorism and sabotage in an FIR filed against him by the provincial Balochistan government.
April 14, 2017: India demands from Pakistan a certified copy of the chargesheet as well as the judgement in the death sentence of Jadhav and seeks consular access to him.
April 15, 2016: Pakistan briefs envoys of the Arab and ASEAN countries over India-Pakistan ties and the arrest of an alleged Indian spy. It had earlier made a similar briefing to envoys of the P5 (the U.S., the U.K., Russia, China and France).
April 20, 2017: India officially seeks from Pakistan details of the trial proceedings against Jadhav as well as the appeal process in the case.
April 27, 2017: Swaraj writes to Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz requesting visa for Jadhav’s family
May 8, 2017: India approaches the International Court of Justice at The Hague against Pakistan military courts decision.
May 9, 2017: ICJ stays Jadhav’s execution.
May 10, 2017: India approached ICJ as Jadhav is in illegal detention, says MEA.
May 15, 2017: India and Pakistan cross swords at the ICJ over Jadhav’s case with New Delhi demanding the immediate suspension of his death sentence and Islamabad accusing it of using the world body as a stage for “political theatre” through a “misconceived” plea.
May 18, 2017: ICJ tells Pakistan to put Jadhav’s execution on hold pending its final order. Noted lawyer Harish Salve represents India. Pakistan says ICJ ruling won’t change status of Jadhav case.
May 29, 2017: Pakistan claims it has fresh evidence against Jadhav. Foreign Office says Jadhav provided “active intelligence” regarding terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
June 16, 2017: ICJ asks India to make its submission in the case by September 13; Pakistan told to complete its submission by December 13. Timelines decided at the June 8 meeting ICJ President Ronny Abraham had with agents of the two countries, MEA spokesperson says. But Pakistan says ICJ rejected India’s request to delay Jadhav’s case.
June 22, 2017: Jadhav files mercy petition before Pakistani military chief; Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Mr. Jadhav had filed the mercy plea with a confessional statement that he was involved in subversive activities in Balochistan.
July 2, 2017: Pakistan rejects yet again India’s request for consular access to Jadhav; Pakistan has turned down at least five Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav since his arrest.
July 13, 2017: Visa application of Jadhav’s mother being studied, says Pakistan Foreign Office.
September 13, 2017: India submits written pleadings in Jadhav’s case.
September 28, 2017: Proposal made to swap Jadhav for terrorist, says Pakistan Foreign Minister.
September 29, 2017: India rubbishes Pakistan claim on swapping Jadhav for jailed terrorist.
November 10, 2017: Pakistan offers a meeting of Jadhav with his wife on humanitarian grounds.
November 23, 2017: Can Pakistan ensure safety of Jadhav kin, asks India.
December 8, 2017: Pakistan allows Jadhav’s wife, mother to meet him on December 25.
December 13, 2017: Pakistan files counter in ICJ.
December 14, 2017: Pakistan directs its High Commission in Delhi to issue visas to Jadhav’s family.
December 20, 2017: Pakistan issues visas to Jadhav’s wife and mother.
July 17, 2018: Pakistan files second counter-memorial in ICJ
October 3, 2018: ICJ to hold four-day public hearing in Jadhav case from February 18, 2019
July 4, 2019: ICJ to deliver verdict in Jadhav case on July 17