Pakistan Mulls Amending Its Army Act As per ICJ Conditions, Kulbhushan Jadhav Can File Appeal in Civilian Court After Amendments
Kulbhushan Jadhav | (Photo Credits: PTI/File)

Islamabad, November 13: In a major development, the Imran Khan government in Pakistan is mulling amending its Army Act, which will give Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to appeal against his conviction in a civilian court. Once the Army Act, which falls under Section 133, is amended by Pakistan, it would open the door for India to provide legal aid to Jadhav. According to a tweet by ANI, the Pakistan media informed that in compliance with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) condition, Pakistan is currently mulling making amendments to its Army Act accordingly.

The Pakistan media further added saying that the case being tried under Military courts and the Army Act law forbade such individuals or groups from filing an appeal. The law also forbade seeking justice from the civilian court but a special amendment is being made for Kulbhushan Jadhav. Kulbhushan Jadhav Verdict: Truth And Justice Prevailed, Tweets PM Narendra Modi on ICJ Judgment Favouring India.

According to reports, at present, the Section 133 of the Pakistani Army Act provides provision for the appeal but only in a "Court of Appeals consisting of the Chief of the Army Staff..." or the court of appeals consisting of Brigadier or Major General but can't appeal in a civilian court.

In September, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had said that there will be no second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. Pakistan had granted the first consular access to the Jadhav on September 2 in line with "the Vienna Convention and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict", following which the Indian diplomat, Gaurav Ahluwalia met him at a sub-jail for an hour.

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Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to death by Pakistan military court on the charges of  'espionage and terrorism' but India has rejected these charges and termed them baseless. The Indian National has been lodged in a Pakistani jail since 2016. In what was believed to be a major victory for India, the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav.

In October, ICJ President Judge Abduylqawi Yusuf told the UN General Assembly said that, in its judgement of July 17, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations “found that Pakistan had violated its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and that appropriate remedies were due in this case.”