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Pakistan made law to give right to Kulbhushan Jadhav to file appeal

Kulbhushan Jadhav (file photo).

Islamabad:

Indian prisoners sentenced to death Kulbhushan Jadhav Pakistan’s Parliament in its joint meeting on Wednesday enacted a law to empower the U.S. to file a review appeal against his conviction by a military court. Jadhav, 51, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism. India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for granting consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence. After hearing both sides, the International Court of Justice in The Hague delivered a judgment in July 2019 asking Pakistan to give India consular access to Jadhav and ensure a review of his sentence.

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On Wednesday, a joint meeting of the Senate and the National Assembly was convened to pass certain laws that were passed by the National Assembly in June this year. These included a law empowering Jadhav to appeal against his sentence. These laws were not approved by the upper house.

The International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2021 aims to fulfill the obligation under the ICJ’s decision and was introduced by Law Minister Farogh Naseem and passed by voice vote in a joint sitting of the House. The law allowed Jadhav to challenge his conviction in the High Court through a review process that was required by the ICJ’s ruling.

A joint sitting of Parliament is called when the differences between the National Assembly and the Senate are not likely to be resolved. The current impasse was due to the fact that the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and allies enjoy a majority in the National Assembly but a minority in the Senate or Upper House.

Earlier, the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2020 was one of the 21 bills passed by the National Assembly in June, but the Senate refused to pass them. The government had also tried to implement the court’s decision through a special ordinance in 2019 in view of the decision of the International Court of Justice.

When the government issued an ordinance to allow Jadhav to file a review petition, he refused. Later, the Government of Pakistan, through its Defense Secretary, filed a case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in 2020 regarding the appointment of defense counsel for Jadhav.

The IHC constituted a three-judge larger bench in August 2020, which repeatedly asked India to nominate a lawyer from Pakistan for Jadhav, but New Delhi refused, insisting that it be an Indian lawyer. Should be given a chance to be appointed. The last hearing was held on October 5 and the IHC once again asked the government to ask India to appoint a lawyer before the next hearing on December 9.

Other laws passed in the joint meeting include a crucial bill to give voting rights to Pakistani citizens living abroad through the use of internet and electronic voting machines.

(This news has not been edited by NDTV team. It has been published directly from Syndicate feed.)

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