New Delhi, June 11: It is a very positive development for India, as Pakistan’s lower house, has approved the ‘International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Act' on Thursday, that allows Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal his conviction in the high courts of the country. The bill was adopted by the National Assembly yesterday after approval from the 21-member standing committee.
The bill gives effect to the earlier judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which had directed Pakistan to allow "effective review and reconsideration" of Jadhav's conviction. The ICJ had, in 2019, ruled that Pakistan must undertake a reconsideration of the conviction and sentencing of Jadhav and grant consular access to India. India has also slammed Pakistan for failing to provide consular access to Jadhav.
With that law, a foreign national in Pakistan can now file a petition before a high court for the review of an order of conviction or sentencing by a military court operating under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.
According to the bill, the high court has the power to review and reconsider where the ICJ in relation to a foreign national passes an order in respect of rights under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations or a foreign national is aggrieved in respect of the rights available under the same.
The bill will be now introduced in Senate (Rajya Sabha), and if passed by the upper house, without any amendment, it will go to the president for final approval.
Soon after the decision, the Indian government has welcomed Pakistan's move, saying it is "in the spirit of true justice", however, it added the law will be "meaningless" if Jadhav is not allowed an Indian lawyer or another neutral legal help. "In case Pakistan doesn't want Indian lawyer, they should go for the help from some third country lawyer," the Indian government said.
Pakistan says Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan in 2016 and later charged with espionage and sentenced to death by a military court in 2017. India has denied these claims, maintaining that Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was a private citizen at the time of his arrest and kidnapped by Pakistani operatives from Iran where he was running a business.