On Wednesday, 8th July 2020, Pakistan has claimed that Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav has refused to file a petition for review of his death sentence. Jadhav was arrested in 2016 on alleged charges of espionage. He has been in jail since. Pakistani media outlets have claimed citing government sources that Jadhav preferred to follow up on the pending mercy petition.
Additional Attorney General of Pakistan said, “On June 17, 2020, Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was invited to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction. Exercising his legal right, he refused to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction.” His statement was published in the Pakistani media reports.
Kulbhushan Jadhav is a 49-year-old retired Indian Navy officer. He was sentenced to death by the military court in Pakistan in 2017 under false charges of espionage and terrorism. Pakistan has claimed that they have offered consular access to Jadhav twice.
The history of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case and MEA’s strong stand to save him
India has rejected the claims of Pakistan that Jadhav was involved in spying and terrorist activities. Indian officials have asserted that Jadhav was running a business in Iran and was kidnapped from the Iranian port of Chabahar and later handed over to Pakistani authorities. On 3rd March 2016, he was allegedly arrested and sentenced to death in April 2017.
In May 2017, when Pakistan rejected Jadhav’s access, India moved to the International Court of Justice against his trial by the military court. When ICJ stayed Jadhav’s execution, it was seen as a significant win, but there was a lengthy judicial process pending. While the case was pending in ICJ, Pakistan allowed family members of Jadhav to meet him, but their officials were highly criticized for mistreating the family members.
Harish Salve, who fought the case in ICJ for Re.1, presented a strong case. He said that India has never denied the nationality of its citizens. In July 2019, ICJ directed Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav. The court also asked Pakistan to review the death sentence effectively. The court noted in the judgment that Pakistan had breached International Law by not providing consular access to Jadhav.
In May 2020, Pakistan issued a statement in which they said they have fully complied with ICJ’s verdict and orders in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Jadhav’s arbitrary sentencing and sham trial by a military court in Pakistan was heavily condemned by India.