Pakistan coerced Kulbhushan Jadhav into not filing review petition, alleges India

The Asian Age With Agency Inputs  | Vineeta Pandey

India, All India

Pakistan said that India has been invited to file review and reconsideration petition on his behalf.

Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. (PTI)

New Delhi: Pakistan on Wednesday said former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death for alleged espionage, has refused to file a review and reconsideration petition and has instead preferred to follow up on his mercy petition.

Pakistan said that India has been invited to file review and reconsideration petition on his behalf. Pakistan Foreign office spokesperson said that the mercy petition is a separate process that has nothing to do with the review and reconsideration plea. Pakistan has also said that it is ready to give India second consular access to Jadhav and allow him to meet his wife and father.

“The review and reconsideration petition can be filed by (a) Commander Jadhav himself, (b) legally authorized representative, or (c) a consular officer of the Indian High Commission. While Commander Jadhav’s mercy petition is still pending, India is invited to file review and reconsideration petition to give effect to the Judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The foregoing has been conveyed to India through diplomatic channels as well,” a Pakistani official said.   

Rejecting Pakistani claims, India said that Jadhav has been coerced by the Pakistan military not to file a review petition. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Pakistan is trying to create a mirage of compliance with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) order which has already held that Pakistan is in egregious violation of international law. The official said the Government of India will do its utmost to protect Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India.

“To that end, it would consider all appropriate options,” the official said. It is expected India may take Jadhav’s case to the ICJ again.

“Jadhav has been sentenced to execution through a farcical trial.  He remains under custody of Pakistan’s military. He has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case. India sought unimpeded access to 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 Jadhav to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the ICJ,” the MEA spokesperson said.

It is learnt that in June, India and Pakistan had remained engaged on Jadhav’s matter but India did not get much help on its four main requests. India has sought a copy of the `unedited video’ and raw of the consular access provided to Jadhav in 2019, and all documents pertaining to his trial – copy of FIR, chargesheet, witness statements etc – which Pakistan has refused to give. While saying no video of the consular access will be given, Pakistan has told India that the copy of FIR, chargesheet etc it will be handed over only to the lawyer of Jadhav.

Pakistan has only accepted India’s request to provide it a copy of the newly enacted `International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance, 2020’ which allows review petitions within a certain period of time.

India has also sought permission from Islamabad to hire a legal counsel for Jadhav from outside the country, even  Indian lawyers, but this request has been turned down. India was told that only a Pakistani lawyer can take up this case and no one outside the country will be allowed.

“Despite our repeated requests, Pakistan continues to deny India free and unimpeded access to Jadhav. Clearly, Pakistan is attempting to create a mirage of compliance with the ICJ judgment,” the MEA spokesperson said.