Saturday, 04 December 2021

Bill passes to assist Jadhav's appeal against death sentence in Pakistan

Bill passes to assist Jadhav's appeal against death sentence in Pakistan

On Wednesday, the Pakistan government pushed through a bill to aid Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav's appeal against the death penalty given to him by a military court during a joint session of Parliament that protests by the opposition party spoiled.

The International Court of Justice of Review and Re-consideration Act of 2021 is on the same lines as a law issued last year by the Pakistan government to facilitate Jadhav's right to appeal against the death penalty sentence given to him for alleged involvement in subversive and spying activity.

Experts said that law would not make a difference to the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav and was more about meeting legal needs so that he could go up a proper appeal in Pakistan court. The law allows a foreign citizen to file a petition in a Pakistani high court to review and reconsider a conviction or sentence given by a military court.

One of many bills passed during a joint session of Parliament in Islamabad saw opposition lawmakers depart. The opposition was particularly displeased by amendments to the Election Act of 2017 to allow electronic voting machines and give voting rights to Pakistanis living overseas.

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The opposition MPs tore the official papers and shouted slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government.

Farogh Naseem, Pakistan's law minister, moved the bill to affect the International Court of Justice (ICJ) 's 2019 judgment seeking to review and reconsider the death sentence given to Jadhav. The government decided to propose the bill at the joint session of Parliament as it was passed by National Assembly or lower house in June this year. Still, it was not passed by the Senate or upper house within a mandatory span of 90 days.

After India approached ICJ, the court said in its judgment that "Pakistan is under an commitment to provide, by means of own choosing, productive review and relook of the conviction and sentence of Mr. Kulbhushan Jadhav" because of the violation of his under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations rights.

Jadhav was arrested in the year 2016 in Balochistan on spying charges and sentenced to death the following year. India rejected the charges leveled against the former navy officer and said Pakistani operatives kidnaped him from the Chabahar Iranian port, where he was running a business. The ICJ stayed in Jadhav's execution in the year 2018.

India also asked Pakistan in June to remove shortcomings in the International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Act, saying it does not create a piece of machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav's case as mandated by the ICJ.

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