Pakistan's National Assembly has approved a bill that allows Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal against his sentence in the country's high court. The Bill provides for review and reconsideration of the decision of the International Court of Justice. The National Assembly approved the bill on Thursday after the approval of a 21-member standing committee. It has been named the 'International Court of Justice (Review and Re-Consideration) Act'. In the wake of the International Court of Justice's decision in the Jadhav case, the Pakistan government had earlier brought an ordinance in the National Assembly. This act will be applicable throughout Pakistan and will be effective immediately.
Let us tell you that all this has been possible after the decision of the International Court of Justice in which the court had asked the National Assembly of Pakistan to reconsider and review the decision. Let us also tell you here that the Imran government had passed an ordinance in the National Assembly in view of the decision of the ICJ in the year 2020, bypassing the opponents. Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism.
India had appealed to the International Court of Haig against the decision of the military court of Pakistan and the denial of consular access by the Pakistani government to Jadhav. Haig's court said in the year 2019 that the sentence awarded to Jadhav should be reviewed and the court had also said to reconsider it. The court, while slamming the Pakistan government, had also said that Jadhav has a right to get consular access, which should not be denied to him.
After the passage of this bill in the National Assembly of Pakistan, the High Court will get the right to review and reconsider the decision of the court on a foreign national in view of the Vienna Convention and give its decision. This bill will also have an impact on the whole of Pakistan. After the passage of this bill, any foreign national imprisoned in Pakistan, who has been convicted by the military court of Pakistan, can appeal to the High Court through the consular officer of his country. The High Court will consider this appeal under Article 3 of the Constitution.
It is worth mentioning that last year the Large Bench of the Islamabad High Court had started hearing on the non-release of Jadhav and three other Indian prisoners after completion of their sentences. In January this year, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had also strongly criticized Pakistan, saying that it was not implementing what was said by the International Court of Justice.