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Pak to amend Army Act to allow Jadhav to file appeal in civilian court

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.

The Pakistan government is likely to amend its laws giving Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to appeal in a civil court. Months after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict in the Jadhav case asked Pakistan to give the Indian national his rights, Pakitan will amend the Army Act, according to Pakistan news channel Ary News. A draft has already been readied to amend the Act. The current law prohibits Jadhav from filing a plea in the civil court against his conviction by a Pakistani military court.

In its July 17, 2019, verdict, the ICJ had asked Pakistan to give Jadhav his rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and arrange for his legal representation. “The Court has found that Pakistan acted in breach of its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention: first, by not informing Mr. Jadhav of his rights; secondly, by not informing India, without delay, of the arrest and detention of Mr. Jadhav; and thirdly, by denying access to Mr. Jadhav by consular officers of India, contrary to their right, inter alia, to arrange for his legal representation,” said the verdict.

“In the Court’s view, the first and third breaches by Pakistan, as just set out, constitute internationally wrongful acts of a continuing character. Accordingly, Pakistan is under an obligation to cease those acts and to comply fully with its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. Consequently, Pakistan must inform Mr. Jadhav without further delay of his rights under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), and allow Indian consular officers to have access to him and to arrange for his legal representation, as provided by Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c),” read the verdict.

In September, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that India will keep trying that judgement of ICJ is fully implemented in Jadhav’s case. Kumar added that New Delhi would prefer to remain in touch with Islamabad over this matter through diplomatic channels. India in the same month got the first consular access to Jhadav. India’s Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia met Jhadav at a sub-jail for two hours starting 12 noon, Pakistan time.

India maintains that Jadhav was abducted by Pakistani agencies from Iran, and New Delhi was first informed about his custody by Pakistani authorities on March 25, 2016, after which in 2017, Islamabad announced that military has awarded death sentence to him.

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