NEW DELHI: Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death in Pakistan by a secret military court over allegations of spying, is likely to face hurdles in getting justice since lawyers in the country have been asked not to help him appeal to a higher court.
The Lahore High Court Bar Association, apparently under pressure from the Pakistan Army, has threatened to cancel the membership of any lawyer who extends his services to Jadhav. India is exploring options available within the legal framework of Pakistan in order to save Jadhav. The former naval officer can move the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the order of the military court, which tried him under Section 59 of the Army Act 1952 and Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act 1923.
However, Jadhav’s chances of getting a fair deal even in Pakistan’s apex court are slim since Pakistan Army and agencies under its control are working to ensure the judicial process is biased against him, people familiar with the matter said. India is, therefore, also weighing the option of moving the International Court of Justice to seek reprieve for Jadhav as well as to force Pakistan government to grant consular access to him.
India can take help from the United Nations and bring this matter before the International Court of Justice as a matter of violation of treaty obligation owed to India, thereby creating an international obligation for Pakistan, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified. The obligation in this case flows from the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, which came into force on March 19, 1967. India and Pakistan signed and ratified the treaty in November 1977 and April 1969 respectively.