Pak bill on facilitating Kulbhushan Jadhav appeal against death sentence
NEW DELHI: A day after Pakistan passed a bill to facilitate Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav appeal against his death sentence, India on Thursday said the law “simply codifies” the “shortcomings” of a previous ordinance and that Islamabad has “failed” to create an atmosphere to ensure a fair trial in the case.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi said Pakistan continues to deny unimpeded and unhindered consular access to Jadhav as mandated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“We have seen reports of Pakistan enacting into law the earlier ordinance that was ostensibly enacted to bring into effect the judgement of the ICJ in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case,” he said.
“Nothing could have been further from the truth. As stated earlier, the ordinance did not create the machinery for an effective review and reconsideration of Shri Jadhav’s case as mandated by the judgement of the ICJ,” he said.
Bagchi was responding to media queries on Pakistan enacting the law to bring into effect the judgement of the ICJ in the Jadhav case.
“The law simply codifies the shortcomings of the previous ordinance. Pakistan continues to deny unimpeded and unhindered consular access to Jadhav and has failed to create an atmosphere in which a fair trial can be conducted,” he said.
The MEA spokesperson said India has repeatedly called upon Pakistan to abide by the letter and spirit of the ICJ judgement.
Jadhav, a 51-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
After India approached it, 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 International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Act of 2021 of Pakistan is on the lines of the ordinance Pakistan had brought out last year to facilitate Jadhav’s right to appeal against the death sentence.
The bill was passed in a joint session of Parliament in Islamabad on Wednesday.