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Pakistan passes Bill to give right of appeal to Kulbhushan Jadhav

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Islamabad, June 10: In a major development, Pakistan Assembly has approved "International Court of Justice (Review & Re-consideration) Ordinance, 2020". This will allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal his conviction in the high courts of the country.

Kulbhushan Jadhav

The Pakistan government had brought an ordinance in the National Assembly earlier in view of the ICJ's ruling in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

According to the Act, a petition for the review of a military court's decision can be made to Islamabad High Court through an application within 60 days of its promulgation.

The high court can review and reconsider where the ICJ in relation to a foreign national passes an order in respect of rights under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations or a foreign national is aggrieved in respect of the rights available under the same.

Such a foreign national, either himself, through his authorised representative or through a consular officer of a mission of his country, may file a petition before a High Court for review and reconsideration, in terms of Section 3, in regard to an order of conviction or sentence of a Military Court operating under the Pakistan Army, 1952.

Jadhav, the 51-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

In 2017, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence handed to him by a military court.

The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

However, the committee's members from the Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) requested its chairman Riaz Fatyana to reject the bill.

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