Kulbhushan Jadhav case National

India wants Pakistan to address shortcomings in new law for review of death sentence to Jadhav

In this picture released by the Pakistan Foreign Office, Kulbhushan Jadhav speaks with his mother and wife through a glass screen at its building in Islamabad on December 25, 2017. Photo: Pakistan Foreign Ministry via AP  

A new Pakistani law that will allow Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s right to appeal is flawed, said the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday. Addressing the weekly press briefing virtually, Official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the Review and Reconsideration Bill 2020 has codified into law the earlier ordinance with its ‘shortcomings’.

“The Ordinance, now the Bill, invites the municipal courts in Pakistan to decide whether or not any prejudice has been caused to Shri Jadhav on account of the failure to provide consular access. This is clearly a breach of the basic tenet that municipal courts cannot be the arbiter of whether a State has fulfilled its obligations in international law. Not only this. It further invites the municipal court to sit in appeal, as it were, over the judgment of the International Court of Justice,” said Mr. Bagchi pointing out the problems with the Pakistani legislation.

India has been demanding consular access to Mr. Jadhav who stands accused of organising attacks against prominent targets in Pakistan. He has been in Pakistan custody since March 3, 2016. Within the next 12 months alone, India made more than a dozen requests for consular access which were not met by Pakistan. On April 10, 2017 a military court sentenced Mr. Jadhav to death which prompted India to take the case to the ICJ. On July 17, 2019, the ICJ delivered a favourable verdict on the case and ordered Pakistan to review the death sentence and provide consular access to Mr. Jadhav.

Subsequently, Indian officials were allowed to meet Mr. Jadhav but India maintained that the meeting did not amount to “unimpeded access”.

Pakistan argues that the new law is in line with the order of the ICJ which urged Islamabad to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the verdict. But Mr. Bagchi said the bill is riddled with shortcomings. “It does not create a machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of Shri Jadhav’s case, as mandated by the ICJ judgment,” said Mr. Bagchi and urged Islamabad to take “appropriate steps to address the shortcomings”.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 4:31:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-calls-for-review-of-pakistan-bill-relating-to-kulbhushan-jadhavs-right-to-appeal/article34841362.ece

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