India assessing legal options in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: MEA

Kulbhushan Jadhav. File photo.

New Delhi (NVI): A day after India hit out at Pakistan over its claims that Kulbhushan Jadhav had refused to file a review petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his conviction on charges of spying, the Ministry of External Affairs today said that the Indian Government is assessing options to protect the former Navy officer.

“At this stage, we are assessing our legal options.  We will do our utmost to protect the life of the Indian national,” MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava said today.

Yesterday, the Ministry of external affairs said that Jadhav has been sentenced to execution through a “farcical trial”. The MEA’s reaction came hours after Pakistan said that Jadhav has refused to file a review petition and wants to proceed with his pending mercy petition.

Pakistan has also claimed that it has offered a second round of consular access to the 49-year-old Indian Navy officer, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017.

Just weeks after the sentence, India had approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.

“Jadhav has been sentenced to execution through a farcical trial. He remains under custody of Pakistan’s military. He has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said yesterday in response to a question on the case.

Jadhav, a former Navy officer, is on a death row on charges of espionage by the Pakistan military court in 2017.

-ARK