A Curious Case
A newly passed Ordinance by Pakistan mandates Kulbhushan
Jadhev to file a review appeal against his sentence and gain
consular access. Apparently, India is not pleased by the move.
Complying with the ICJ ruling given in 2019, the government of Pakistan sailed the bill “International Court of Justice (Review and Consideration) Ordinance 2020” through the parliament in July this year, granting consular access to Commander Kulbhushan Jadhev, an Indian serving naval officer who was arrested by Pakistan and awarded the death penalty by a military court on espionage and terrorism charges.
The Ordinance also gives the right to Jadhev to file a review appeal against the military court’s judgement regarding his conviction and execution within sixty days of the promulgation of the ordinance.
It is interesting to note that Kulbhushan refused to file a review appeal against his execution and sought mercy instead. However, the government of Pakistan recently submitted a petition against the sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhev in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which has directed the government of Pakistan to let India hire a counsel for the alleged Indian spy before adjourning the hearing of the case till September this year.
Pakistan has repeatedly asked India to appoint a legal representative and initiate the legal process by challenging the death sentence in a high court as prescribed in the Ordinance and the IHC verdict. Surprisingly, India has so far not shown eagerness to pursue the case.
Commenting on the steps taken by Pakistan to fulfil legal and international obligations, the erstwhile Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, at a weekly media briefing on August 6, 2020, stated that Pakistan had approached India through diplomatic means for appointment of a counsel for Commander Kulbhushan in the light of the IHC’s order. Till date, no reply has been given by India on the said matter.