The ICJ order has come as a great relief not just to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav but also to the people of India, said Dalbir Kaur
NEW DELHI — “It is a victory of crores of Indians,” said Dalbir Kaur on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday staying the execution of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav ordered by a Pakistan military court.
Kaur is the sister of Sarabjit, who was convicted in a case of alleged spying and carrying out four bomb attacks that killed 14 people in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Faisalabad in 1990.
Dalbir Kaur’s statement came on a day when ICJ rebuked Pakistan for denying consular access to India. ICJ said Pakistan should take all measures in its power to ensure that Kulbhushan Jadhav is not executed before the final verdict in the case. Further, it ordered that Pakistan would have to inform the court about all such measures.
“It is victory of crores of Indians. It is also a victory for India and its government and the legal team which worked tirelessly in Jadhav’s case,” she said.
“Whatever Pakistan may say, they have been exposed before the world today. The ICJ order has come as a great relief not just to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav but also to the people of India,” Dalbir Kaur told PTI.
Kaur’s brother Sarabjit had died after being attacked by inmates in a Lahore prison in April 2013. He was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court and sentenced to death in 1991. However, the government had stayed his execution for an indefinite period in 2008.
Dalbir Kaur lamented, “had the then government moved International Court of Justice in Sarabjit’s case, he would have been alive”.
“Had ICJ been moved in Sarabjit’s case, he would have been amongst us today,” she said.
Who was Sarabjit?
The unfortunate tale of Sarabjit has often been told and retold. His tragic death became all the more famous after a biographical film directed by Omung Kumar was made last year. Actress Aishwarya Rai essayed the role of Singh’s sister, Dalbir Kaur, while, Randeep Hooda and Richa Chada played the roles of Sarbjit Singh and his wife, Sukhpreet, respectively.
Sarabjit Singh was a resident of Bhikhiwind, located along the Indo-Pakistani border in Tarn Taran district of Punjab. In 1990, he was arrested for illegally crossing over to Pakistan. Since then, he spent over 19 years in solitary confinement. On April 26, he was brutally beaten up in a Lahore jail and he succumbed to his injuries in May 2013.
A British lawyer, Jas Uppal, who had been campaigning for his release, had pointed to several problems with the prosecution in the trial. These problems included:
His identity was never verified or proved in court and no forensic evidence was provided at his trial to link him to the bomb attacks.
The trial was conducted in English, which Singh did not speak or understand, and no interpreter was provided.
There were allegations that he was tortured in custody and forced to confess.
The trial was “fast-tracked”.
The main witness repeatedly changed his version of events.