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India Asks Pak to Address Shortcomings in Bill Relating to Kulbhushan Jadhav's Right to Appeal

File photo of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

File photo of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Jadhav (50), a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

India on Thursday asked Pakistan to take appropriate steps to address the shortcomings in a bill introduced in the country's national assembly last week providing for the right of appeal to Indian death-row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav. Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi said the bill has a provision for inviting the municipal court to decide whether any prejudice has been caused to Jadhav on account of the failure to provide consular access in accordance with a verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"We call upon Pakistan to take appropriate steps to address the shortcomings in the bill," Bagchi said at a media briefing. He said the municipal court cannot be the arbiter of whether the State has fulfilled its obligation under international law.

Bagchi also called upon the neighbouring country to comply with the judgment of the ICJ in the case relating to Jadhav. Jadhav (50), a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

Subsequently, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence. 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 grant consular access to India without further delay.

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