Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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Pakistan denies reports of amending the Army Act to help Kulbhushan Jadhav appeal against conviction in civilian court

As per existing laws under Pakistan’s Army Act, Kulbhushan Jadhav was forbidden from filing an appeal in Pakistan’s civilian courts. However, after the ICJ gave its verdict in India’s favour and stayed the death sentence pronounced for Jadhav, and further allowing consular access to India, the ICJ had asked Pakistan to allow Jadhav to file an appeal in civilian court.

Media reports had stated that the government of Pakistan is in the process of amending its Army Act in accordance with the decision by the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Reportedly, the laws were to be amended to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to file an appeal in a civilian court in Pakistan. However, now the Pakistan Army had denied all such reports and called them baseless.

The Pakistan Army has said that reports of Pakistan amending Army Act to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal his conviction in the civilian court is baseless and that they are ‘considering legal options’ to review and reconsider the Indian national’s case.

Earlier in the day, Pakistani government sources hinted at the amendment of the act under which no appeals can be made under civilian court. Earlier sources in Pakistan said Islamabad plans to amend the Army Act, section 133 which will give Jadhav right to appeal in a civilian court and also opens the door for India to provide legal aid to him.

Read: Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention in the Kulbhushan Yadav case: ICJ tells UNGA

As per existing laws under Pakistan’s Army Act, Kulbhushan Jadhav was forbidden from filing an appeal in Pakistan’s civilian courts. However, after the ICJ gave its verdict in India’s favour and stayed the death sentence pronounced for Jadhav, and further allowing consular access to India, the ICJ had asked Pakistan to allow Jadhav to file an appeal in civilian court.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands had in July directed Pakistan to stay Jadhav’s execution and allow him consular access. Based on ICJ’s verdict in a 15-1 decision on July 17, Pakistan had on July 30 sent its first proposal to India but with 2 riders attached. One that Pakistani security personnel will be present during the meeting and second there will be CCTV cameras present in the room.

Read: Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India wins at the ICJ, court says Pakistan violated Vienna Convention, orders review of case & consular access

After the ICJ verdict stayed the execution and allowed India consular access, India had declared that it will now push for shifting Jadhav’s case to a civilian court, to ensure he gets proper legal representation.

After the consular access was finally granted in September, India has stated that Jadhav is under extreme pressure by Pakistan to parrot a false narrative.

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