Pakistan parliament passes bill giving Jadhav right to file review appeal against conviction

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s parliament passed a bill at a joint session on Wednesday providing Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian prisoner on death row, the right to file a review appeal against his conviction by a military court. The law brings into effect the 2019 judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which asked Pakistan to give India consular access to Jadhav and also provide him right of review and reconsideration against his conviction and sentence.
The ICJ gave its judgment on July 17, 2019. However, no progress has been made on the review issue as India refused to appoint a local lawyer while demanding Pakistan to let an Indian lawyer represent Jadhav in the court. Despite Pakistan’s parliament passing the bill, the issue is likely to remain deadlocked till Islamabad allows New Delhi to appoint a lawyer of its choice to represent Jadhav.
Pakistan has been alleging that India is engaging in a campaign to obfuscate the issue of appointing a lawyer to represent Jadhav.
The ICJ (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020, was moved by Pakistan’s law minister Farogh Nasim and passed with a majority vote.
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill stated that the government of India had initiated proceedings against Pakistan in the ICJ concerning alleged violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in the matter of the detention and trial of Jadhav, who was sentenced to death in April 2017 for espionage.
In order to give full effect to the said judgment, according to the bill, it is necessary that a mechanism for review and reconsideration of Pakistan’s own choice be provided.
The bill providing Jadhav the right to appeal against his conviction was passed by the National Assembly in June this year. However, it failed to get the nod of the Senate. A joint session of the parliament is called when the differences between the two Houses are unbridgeable. While the ruling coalition led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf has a majority in the National Assembly, it does not have the numbers in the Upper House.
Jadhav, according to Pakistan, was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan’s Mashkhel area. New Delhi, however, claimed that he was a retired Indian Navy officer and was abducted by Pakistani operators from Iranian port of Chabahar, where he was running his business.
His appeals against his conviction had been rejected by the military’s court of appeal. On India’s appeal, the ICJ had stopped Pakistan from carrying out the capital punishment.

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