New Delhi: India expressed dissatisfaction today over a new bill passed by Pakistan’s Lower House of Parliament, saying it does not create a machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of the case of Kulbushan Jadhav, who is facing death sentence in that country.
External Affairs Ministry said the Review and Reconsideration Bill 2020 is not in tune with the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and Pakistan should take appropriate steps to address the “shortcomings” in the proposed legislation.
Jadhav, former Indian Navy officer, has been sentenced to death in 2017 by a military court in Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism but the ICJ held in July 2019 that he was not given a fair chance to plead his case in a civil court, which Pakistan government must ensure.
India has asserted that Jadhav was pursuing business and trade after his retirement from the Navy and that he was kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence agencies from the Pakistan-Iran border during one of his business trips.
“The Bill codifies into law the earlier Ordinance, with all its shortcomings. It does not create a machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of Shri Jadhav’s case, as mandated by the judgement of the International Court of Justice,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing here.
He noted that the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan was in breach of its international obligations because of the failure to provide consular access to Shri Jadhav.
“The Ordinance, now the Bill, invites the municipal courts in Pakistan to decide whether or not any prejudice has been caused to Shri Jadhav on account of the failure to provide consular access.
“This is clearly a breach of the basic tenet that municipal courts cannot be the arbiter of whether a State has fulfilled its obligations in international law. Not only this, it further invites the municipal court to sit in appeal, as it were, over the judgement of the International Court of Justice,” Bagchi said.
“We call upon Pakistan to take appropriate steps to address the shortcomings in the Bill and to comply with the judgement of the ICJ in letter and spirit,” the spokesman added.