ICJ bill giving Kulbhushan Jadhav right to appeal presented in Pakistani Senate

The International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, meant to provide the right of appeal to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, was presented in the Senate on Thursday, after being passed by the National Assembly on June 10.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan introduced the bill in the House, after which the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani referred the bill to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice, reported Geo News.

The bill seeks to provide further right of review and reconsideration in giving effect to the judgment of the International Court of Justice. It was adopted by the National Assembly on June 10 after approval from the 21-member standing committee.

According to the bill, the High Court has the power to 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.

However, India recently expressed that it is not convinced with Pakistan National Assembly passing a bill to give the right of appeal to Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistani high courts.

India says the bill is full of shortcomings and is a breach of the ICJ judgment.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a weekly media briefing that the bill does not create machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of the case as mandated by the judgment of the ICJ

“We have seen the news reports relating to the Review and Reconsideration Bill 2020 that has been passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan. The Bill codifies into law the earlier Ordinance- with all its shortcomings. It does not create a machinery to facilitate effective review and reconsideration of Shri Jadhav’s case, as mandated by the judgement of the International Court of Justice,” Bagchi said.

The ICJ has ruled that Pakistan was in breach of its international obligations because of the failure to provide consular access to Jadhav.

Bagchi said the ordinance, now the Bill, invites the municipal courts in Pakistan to decide whether or not any prejudice has been caused to Jadhav on account of the failure to provide consular access.

“We call upon Pakistan to take appropriate steps to address shortcomings of the bill and to comply with the judgement of ICJ in letter and spirit,” he added.

India has slammed Pakistan for adopting a “farcical” approach in denying available legal remedies to Kulbhushan Jadhav against his death sentence in contravention of the ICJ order.

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