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Pakistan denies amending Army Act to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal in civil court

Nov 14, 2019

Hours after media reports on Wednesday claimed that Pakistan is likely to amend its laws giving Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to appeal in a civil court, the nation's army termed the reports as incorrect. Major General Asif Ghafoor, Pakistan Armed Forces Spokesperson, in a tweet said that these reports were just "speculations".

The news reports had stated that months after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) asked Pakistan to give Jadhav the right to appeal against his conviction, Pakistan will amend the Army Act and a draft has already been readied for the same.

However, Ghafoor stated, "Speculations for amendment in Pak Army Act to implement ICJ verdict regarding convicted Indian terrorist Cdr Kulbushan Jadhav are incorrect. Various legal options for review and reconsideration of the case are being considered. Final status shall be shared in due course of time."

In July 2019, the ICJ had asked Pakistan to give Jadhav his rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and arrange for his legal representation. However, the current law in Pakistan prohibits him from filing a plea in the civil court against his conviction by a Pakistani military court.

Later in September, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India will keep trying that the judgement of ICJ is fully implemented in Jadhav's case. In the same month, India got the first consular access to Jadhav. Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia then met Jadhav at a sub-jail.

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy commander, was tried by a Pakistani military court and sentenced to death in April 2017 on charges of spying and supporting terrorism. India says that he was kidnapped from Iran and brought to Pakistan. New Delhi was first informed about his custody by Pakistani authorities on March 25, 2016.

Earlier in 2019, in a major diplomatic victory for India, the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan must review Jadhav's death sentence.

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