Pakistan To Amend Army Act To Let Kulbhushan Jadhav Appeal In Civilian Court: Reports

Kulbhushan Jadhav was tried and sentenced by a Pakistani military court and current laws do not allow appeal.

Pakistan To Amend Army Act To Let Kulbhushan Jadhav Appeal In Civilian Court: Reports

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death in 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism.

New Delhi:

Pakistan will amend its Army Act to enable Indian convict Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal his death sentence in a civilian court, reports said on Wednesday. The former officer was tried and sentenced by a Pakistani military court and current laws do not allow appeal.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to death in 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism.

Pakistan's move comes after the International Court of Justice ordered Islamabad in July to give India consular access to him and also review his death sentence.

"Pakistan, in compliance with the International Court of Justice's condition to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to file an appeal in a civilian court, is amending its Army Act accordingly. The case is being tried under military courts and the Army Act law forbade such individuals or groups from filing an appeal and seeking justice from the civilian court but a special amendment is being made for Kulbhushan Jadhav," news agency ANI quoted Pakistani media as saying.

In September, Jadhav was allowed a meeting with an Indian official for the first time.

Pakistan claims Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan by its security forces on March 3, 2016, and he was plotting an attack. India says he was abducted by Pakistani security forces from Iran, where he was running a business, and falsely accused of spying and terror.

India appealed to the world court a month after Jadhav was sentenced.

In a verdict 15 to one in favour of India, the UN court said the death sentence should remain suspended until Pakistan effectively reviewed and reconsidered the conviction.

The world court had also agreed with India's allegation that Pakistan had not informed Jadhav about his rights and that "Pakistan deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation."

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