India exposes Pakistan farce over death row appeal in Jadhav spying case

File Photo: Retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadav, who is on a death row in Pakistan on charges of spying and terrorism.

By Amit Agnihotri

New Delhi: India today slammed Pakistan for adopting a farcical approach in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on allegations of spying and terrorism, and charged that the western neighbour was defying the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Seeing how the case raised emotions within the country, India approached the The Hague-based ICJ, which ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must review and reconsider the conviction and sentence of Jadhav, a 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, and grant consular access to India without delay.

“India has so far requested consular access twelve times over the past one year. However, Pakistan has so far not been able to provide an unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional consular access,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing.

On July 16, Indian consular officers could not meet Jadhav and obtain a Power of Attorney from him, as Pakistan authorities instructed them not to hand over any document to Jadhav.

Earlier, India repeatedly sought relevant case documents but was advised to get an authorised Pakistani lawyer first. Once that condition was met, the Pakistani authorities declined to handover the documents.

As a result, on July 18 India could not file a review petition in the absence of Power of Attorney and supporting documents.

Yesterday, Pakistan unilaterally filed a review petition as they want to be seen adhering to the ICJ order. Pakistan said Jadhav has refused to engage a lawyer and has refused to file a review petition for reconsideration of his sentence and conviction.

But Pakistan also created confusion by first indicating July 19 was the last date for a petition and later saying it was July 20 as per an Ordinance.

“Pakistan is not only in violation of the judgment of ICJ, but its own Ordinance. Pakistan has completely failed to provide the remedy, as directed by the ICJ, and India reserves its position in the matter, including its rights to avail of further remedies,” said Srivastava.

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