- India on May 15, 2017, called for immediate suspension of its national Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav’s death sentence and accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention by denying its 16 requests for consular access.
What is Vienna Convention?
- Inked in 1961, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) is an international treaty accepted by 189 states.
- The VCDR refers to a framework for diplomatic relations between various independent countries.
- It specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enable diplomats to perform their function without fear.
- As per VCDR, certain individuals get diplomatic immunity depending on their rank and the amount of immunity they need without any legal harassment from the host nation.
Also Read: Vienna Convention & Montreal Protocol
- Without informing India about Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest:
Pakistan clearly violated Vienna Convention by not informing India of Jadhav’s arrest. Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, had been sentenced to death last month by a Pakistani military court on grounds of spying.
He was arrested last year but India was unaware of his arrest. On May 8, India contested the move and dragged Pakistan to the ICJ for refusing consular access to Jadhav and for violating the Vienna Convention on consular relations.
2. India was denied consular access 16 times by Pakistan:
India is contending that Pakistan’s announcement of the death sentence was in contravention of Vienna convention on consular relations as India was denied consular access 16 times by Pakistan.
Hearing at the ICJ
- In a statement issued on May 16,2017, the International Court of Justice said: “On 8 May 2017, the Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ (hereinafter the Vienna Convention’) in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.”
- A Pakistan military court had awarded the death sentence to Jadhav last month for espionage and subversive activities. Jadhav had been arrested on March 3 last year.
- India had appealed against the death sentence on May 8 alleging the violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan after its 16 requests for consular access were denied.
- India, in its appeal to the ICJ, has asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy.
- India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government.