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Pakistan under ‘global gaze’ in Jadhav case: Arun Jaitley


New Delhi, July 18: Terming the ICJ judgement in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case a "comprehensive victory" for India, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday said Pakistan has been given an opportunity to comply with the rule of law and it is now under a "global gaze" as to what direction it follows.

File photo of Arun Jaitley

The former finance minister took a dig at the neighbouring nation over its claim of victory following the verdict, as he called it "farcical".

"The ICJ has given Pakistan an opportunity to comply with the rule of law and reform its processes. Will Pakistan use this opportunity or squander it? Pakistan is now under a global gaze as to what direction it follows," Jaitley wrote in a blog.

ICJ rules in India's favour 15 votes to 1, suspends death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav

The International Court of Justice judgement is a "comprehensive victory" for India and Pakistan lost conclusively before the ICJ, he said, adding the neighbouring country's farcical processes through which innocents are held guilty stand exposed.

A plain reading of the ICJ judgement shows that India won on almost all counts, he said.

The ICJ Wednesday ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav and asked it to provide consular access to him.

Jaitley said the judgement has cast an onerous responsibility on Pakistan through mandatory directions to ensure that the review of its military court's decision to award death sentence to Jadhav has to be extremely broad, ensuring that it takes into consideration all relevant grounds stated by the ICJ.

What surprised many was the official claim of Pakistan that the judgement is, in fact, its victory, Jaitley said and then went on to trash the rationale behind it.

Supporters of this viewpoint gave two primary reasons for such a boisterous and bravado claim. Firstly, Jadhav had not been released by the ICJ and secondly, military courts in Pakistan had been upheld and the case will go back to the military courts itself which are entirely state controlled, Jaitley observed.

On the legality of military courts, the ICJ offered no opinion because of its limited jurisdiction, which extended to interpretation and the enforcement of the Vienna Convention, the BJP leader said.

"That question, thus, would remain open before an appropriate forum for adjudication in future," he said.

The relevant question, therefore, is when the case has been referred back to Pakistan, what will be the forum and the process of the review and reconsideration that will be available to Jadhav, he added.

While not going into the question of the validity of the military courts, the observations of the court in paragraphs 139 to 147 give a clear indication amounting to a mandatory direction as to what is the nature of remedy available to Jadhav, Jaitley, also a noted lawyer, said.

He said the nature of the judicial authority which will go into the question of review and reconsideration cannot be the military court and added that it is perhaps why the ICJ suggests the creation of a new forum, if necessary, by a legislation.

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