Pakistan to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal in civilian court
Pakistan has decided to amend its Army Act to pave way for Kulbhushan Jadhav to file an appeal in the civilian court, in compliance with the verdict of the International Court of Justice, as per reports.
Under Pakistan’s existing Army Act, individuals or groups being tried under military courts cannot file an appeal or seek justice from a civilian court. The new amendment will, however, do away with the clause in the Act and allow Jadhav access to civilian courts.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court under the Army Act on charges of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice put a stay on the death sentence in its ruling in July 2019.
The ICJ had also asked Pakistan to review and reconsider Kulbhushan Jadhav’s sentence and provide him with consular access and a fair trial. Kulbhushan Jadhav was finally allowed consular access on September 2, 2019, in the presence of Pakistani officials. The whole proceeding was recorded by Pakistan.
India had requested second consular access to Jadhav but the request was turned down by Pakistan saying that no second consular access will be provided to the Indian national who is on a death trial.
The International Court of Justice had ruled in favour of India by 15-1 votes. The bench was headed by Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.
While sharing ICJ’s annual report at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf had said that Pakistan had violated its obligations under the Vienna Convention in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
The ICJ Chief stated that the top court had found that Pakistan had violated Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and it required appropriate remedies.
The ICJ, in its verdict, had rejected all objections that were raised by Pakistan and called for an effective review of the conviction.
Kulbhushan Jadhav is an Indian national, who was arrested by Pakistan in 2016 on the charge of spying. Later in April 2017, a Pakistani military court awarded him death sentence on charges of conducting espionage and sabotage activities in Pakistan, mainly Balochistan and Karachi. Pakistan accused Jadhav of being a RAW agent.
India rejected Pakistan’s claim that Kulbhushan Jadhav was an Indian spy. India confirmed that Jadhav was a former naval officer who was abducted by Pakistan from the Iran border and brought into Pakistan through illegal means. India also called the whole trial to be fake.