New Delhi, Jul 8: India on Wednesday said that Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national who is on death row in a Pakistan jail, has been coerced by Pakistan not to file a review petition in his case.
“Pakistan’s claim that Mr Jadhav, who is incarcerated in Pakistan’s custody, has refused to initiate review petition is a continuation of the farce that has been in play for the last four years. He has been sentenced to execution through a farcical trial. Mr Jadhav remains under custody of Pakistan’s military. He has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a statement here.
“India sought unimpeded access to Mr Jadhav to discuss his remedies under the Ordinance. In a brazen attempt to scuttle even the inadequate remedy under the Ordinance, Pakistan has obviously coerced him to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ),” he added.
On May 20, Pakistan has passed an Ordinance to allow for the High Court to review the sentence awarded by their military court.
“They have all along maintained that their laws allowed for effective review and reconsideration while we have protested it all along. Now, after almost a year, they have made a u-turn and issued an Ordinance to ostensibly provide for some sort of review,” Mr Srivastava said.
“We have already expressed our serious concerns at the content of the Ordinance and how it violates the ICJ judgment. Pakistan is only seeking to create an illusion of remedy,” he added.
India has repeatedly made requests but Pakistan continues to deny free and unimpeded access to Mr Jadhav.
“We have also repeatedly asked to allow a lawyer from outside Pakistan to appear for Mr Jadhav in any review and reconsideration proceedings. Pakistan has denied it,” the spokesperson said.
Since 2017, when Military Court carried out a farcical trial, Pakistan has refused to hand over any relevant document, including FIR, evidence, court order, etc in the case to India.
Clearly, “Pakistan is attempting to create a mirage of compliance with the ICJ judgment,” he added.
ICJ has already held that Pakistan is in egregious violation of international law.
“Government will do its utmost to protect Shri Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India. To that end, it would consider all appropriate options,” he said.
Earlier in the day, according to Pakistan’s Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan, Mr Jadhav has refused to file a review petition against the death sentence imposed on him.
On 17 June 2020, he was invited to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction.
Exercising his legal right, he refused to file a petition for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction,’ informed Pakistan’s Additional Attorney General.
Pakistan media has reported that Kulbhushan Jadhav instead preferred to follow up on his pending mercy petition which he had filed on April 17, 2017 and Pakistan has offered second consular access to him.