Pakistan is considering various legal options for the review of death-row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case, the Army said on Wednesday amid reports that the government was preparing to amend the Army Act to implement the ICJ’s verdict.
Spokesperson for Pakistan Armed Forces Major General Asif Ghafoor, however, termed as “speculation” the reports that the government was planning to amend the Army Act to allow Jadhav the right to file an appeal against his conviction in a civilian court.
The amended law will outline the procedure to seek redress in the civil courts against sentence by Army courts, the report said.
In a major victory for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 17 ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence given to Jadhav.
Ghafoor said the reports of the amendment in the Pak Army Act to implement ICJ verdict regarding Jadhav are “incorrect.””Various legal options for review and reconsideration of the case are being considered. Final status shall be shared in due course of time,” he said.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017. India has maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
India had argued that consular access was being denied to its national in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, the ICJ in its 42-page order held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav that had strained relations between the two neighbouring countries.
The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.
After much dilly-dallying, Pakistan on September 2 granted India consular access to Jadhav under the direction of the ICJ.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.