Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ review and reconsideration bill presented in Senate

June 24, 2021

Opposition criticises the bill; Senate Chairman refers the bill to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice

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Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. Photo: File

The International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, meant to provide the right of appeal to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, was presented in the Senate on Thursday. The bill had been passed by the National Assembly last week.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan introduced the bill in the House, which was criticised by the Opposition. Following this, the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani referred the bill to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

The bill states that where the International Court of Justice issues an order regarding the rights of foreigners, the high court will have the power to review and reconsider it and the affected foreigner will be able to file a petition for review in the high court either themselves or through their representative.

The petition will be filed with reference to punishment or order of punishment by a military court under the Pakistan Army Act. A review or reconsideration request will be filed within 60 days of the military court's order.

Per the bill, the high court will examine whether the foreign national has been discriminated against in terms of defence, right to testify, fair trial, and denial of consular access.

The aims and objectives of the bill stated that India has approached the International Court of Justice regarding Jadhav's trial, adding that the decision of the ICJ requires Pakistan to provide a review mechanism to such prisoners.

Opposition was not taken into confidence regarding the bill: Bilawal

Commenting on the bill, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the PTI-led government did not take the Opposition into confidence when passing the bill in the National Assembly last week.

"The PPP will not be a facilitator in Jhadav's case because the bill was prepared by the government behind closed doors," he said while speaking to the media in Karachi.

Bilawal added that if the government wishes to grant the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to Jhadav, PM Imran Khan should do it himself without expecting the cooperation of his party.

Bilawal also shed light on issues related to Afghanistan and said that the Parliament should be informed about the deal that the PTI-led government has struck with Afghanistan.

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