Kulbhushan Jadhav is Pakistan’s new ‘K’ card. According to Pakistan’s assistant attorney general Ahmed Irfan, the former Navy commander, who was jailed on espionage allegations and faces the death penalty, has declined to submit a review appeal against his sentencing.Jadhav’s refusal to file a review petition in civil court effectively puts an end to the possibility of a new trial, this time with adequate legal representation and scrutiny,that the International Court of Justice’s hard-won ruling offered. Jadhav, on the other hand, will continue to pursue his mercy petition with the President. India is in a bind as a result of his decision to renounce the ability to file a review petition.India has claimed that Pakistan had denied Jadhav a fair trial. The military tribunal after which Jadhav was condemned to death was a farce, according to Harish Salve, India’s legal counsel in the case at the International Court of Justice.“It has become a major ego problem for Pakistan,” Salve remarked at a seminar organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Adhivakta Parishad. We hoped they would release him . They haven’t done so. We’ve written four to five letters thus far. They continue to deny.” Salve was cited in Bar and Bench as saying, “We’ve been in a struggle with Pakistan trying to persuade them to build up machinery.”According to the ICJ’s ruling, Pakistan must “afford, by methods of its own choice, effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentence” to ensure that the impact of the breach of the rights set forth in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is given due weight. The court also ordered Pakistan to grant ISIS consular access.
Pakistan has denied India access to Jadhav while he was detained, as well as the ability to arrange for his legal representation. Even Jadhav’s confession, which Pakistan had held up, was not considered genuine since Pakistan had not provided him with legal representation.Pakistan has claimed that the law gave Jadhav the right to appeal his conviction. The International Court of Justice’s ruling, however, stated that Pakistan must “afford effective review and reconsideration” of the punishment. According to Irfan, Pakistan would implement the International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance in May 2020.
The legislation set a 60-day deadline for Jadhav, his family, or the Indian high commission in Islamabad to file an appeal. On June 17, Jadhav was asked to file a plea for review, but he declined. He was also given aid with legal representation, which Jadhav declined.
His unwillingness to submit a review petition fits in nicely with Pakistan’s preferred narrative. Pakistan alleged in court that Jadhav had renounced his right to legal representation.However, his choice to waive the review petition, essentially wasting the gains of a hard-won win at the International Court of Justice, as well as Pakistan’s plan to hold a special press conference to announce the decision only days before the deadline, raise major concerns.Even still, consular access to Jadhav was not easy, despite the ICJ’s explicit instruction. Despite misgivings about how it was given, India eventually accepted the offer to consular access in September. On humanitarian grounds, Pakistan now says that it is prepared to allow Jadhav to meet his father and wife.