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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Pak to amend Army Act to let Kulbhushan Jadhav appeal in civilian court: Report

The reported amendment in Pakistan’s Army Act would enable Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal against his death sentence in a civilian court

india Updated: Nov 13, 2019 15:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kulbhushan Jadhav
Kulbhushan Jadhav(PTI file photo)

Pakistan is amending its law to enable Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal against his death sentence in a civilian court, Pakistan’s ARY News said in a report on Wednesday. The reported effort to amend the Army Act is the first step to comply with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) direction to let Kulbhushan Jadhav file an appeal against the military court’s findings in a civilian court.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was tried by a military court under the Army Act that bars any intervention by civilian courts. Islamabad had also refused India consular access to its national on claims that he had been charged with espionage and terror related offences.

But this stand was clobbered by the top UN court in July this year that held Pakistan had violated the former Indian naval officer’s right to consular access. The ICJ had also ordered Islamabad to carry out an effective “review and reconsideration” of his conviction at an appropriate forum of Islamabad’s choice.

The ICJ ruling had also indicated that Pakistan could consider “enacting appropriate legislation” as part of the review process for Jadhav and stressed that the review must be effective, unconditional and lead to a result.

Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan on March 3, 2016, and charged with involvement in spying and subversive activities. In April 2017, Pakistan announced that Jadhav had been handed out the death sentence by a military court.

Indian officials were finally allowed consular access to Jadhav in September this year, more than 40 months after his arrest. The foreign ministry had then stressed that Jadhav appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims.