In a major development, Pakistan National Assembly has passed a Bill titled the International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Act to allow former Indian navy officer and death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav.
The Bill has been passed to allow alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to have consular access in line with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict (2019).
51-year-old retired Indian Navy Officer, Kulbhusan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, Field General Court Martial (FGCM) on charges of espionage, sabotage, and terrorism in April 2017.
Pakistan even released two videos of Jadhav’s confession where he alleged to have said that the Indian intelligence agency RAW was involved in destabilizing Pakistan. However, the Indian government had rejected the video confession and said that he had retired prematurely.
What is espionage?
The practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.
What is Sabotage?
A deliberate action aimed at weakening a polity, effort, or organization through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction especially for political or military advantage
India moved the International Court of Justice against Pakistan for continuously denying consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and challenged his death sentence.
On 18 May 2017, ICJ stayed Jadhav’s hanging.
On 17 July 2019, ICJ rejected India’s appeal to release Jadhav. The court also directed Pakistan to review his death sentence and allow him consular access.
What is Consular Access?
India has repeatedly sought Jadhav’s consular access under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 which states that “foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of that arrest. If the detained foreign national so requests, the police must fax that notice to the embassy or consulate, which can then check up on the person. The notice to the consulate can be as simple as a fax, giving the person’s name, the place of arrest, and, if possible, something about the reason for the arrest or detention”.