May 18, 2022

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Pakistan’s National Assembly Passes Bill to Give Right of Appeal to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan’s National Assembly has passed a government-backed bill that will give the right of appeal to convicted Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav. This information has come to the fore in the media news. The National Assembly on Thursday passed the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2020, which aims to provide consular access to alleged Indian spy Jadhav in line with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision.

Jadhav, 51, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court in April 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism. India had moved the ICJ against Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.

India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence. The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

 The ICJ, in its 2019 verdict, had asked Pakistan to provide a proper forum for appeal against the sentence given to Jadhav. The bill was among 21 laws passed by the National Assembly on Thursday evening, ignoring protests by the Opposition lawmakers who wanted the proper reading of bills.

Opposition members staged a walkout and pointed out the lack of quorum thrice, but each time the chair declared the House in order and continued to function, forcing the opposition to resort to noisy ruckus.

Earlier this year, a larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had resumed hearing of the case related to Mr Jadhav and four other Indian prisoners who were under detention even after completion of their respective sentences.

In January, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had slammed Pakistan for not acting upon the ICJ’s 2019 judgment that had upheld India’s claim of the Pakistani regime committing the grievous violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations on several counts regarding Mr Jadhav. India has also lashed out at Pakistan for failing to provide consular access to Mr Jadhav.