Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Wednesday said he met Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry to reiterate demand for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been awarded death sentence by the Islamabad military court.
“Appeal, in Kulbhushan Jadhav case, filed by High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale with Pakistan Foreign Secretary in Islamabad today,” the Indian High Commission in Islamabad tweeted.
As per Pakistani law, an appeal had to be filed within 40 days of the sentencing. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying on April 10. The appeal has been filed under Pak Army Act Section 133(B) – Court of Appeals.
During his meeting the Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Bambawale also demanded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Pakistan has denied Indias request for consular access to 46-year-old Jadhav over a dozen times in the last one year.
Pakistan Army has already rejected any chance of granting consular access to Jadhav who was sentenced to death for espionage and subversive activities.
During his previous meeting with Januja – on April 14 – Bambawale had asked for the list of charges and authentic copy of verdict of military tribunal against Jadhav to launch an appeal against his conviction.
He also said that India was seeking consular access on the basis on international law humanitarian grounds.
The Pakistan Army had earlier ruled out consular access to Jadhav, saying he is not eligible for it as per the laws.
“Kulbhushan is not eligible for consular access nor will be granted consular access,” said Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor.
The Indian envoy had sought the meeting to reiterate the demand for consular access to Jadhav, who was arrested more than a year ago. Pakistan has levelled seven specific charges against Jadhav, including fomenting unrest in Balochistan and Karachi and alleged involvement in a string of terror attacks.
Pakistan has so far not provided any evidence to back up the charges. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court following a secret trial and the sentence was confirmed by the Pakistan Army chief on April 10.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office has said judicial process was followed during Jadhav’s trial and that he was provided a lawyer in accordance with relevant laws and the Constitution. The Pakistan Army also released what was described as a “confessional video” of Jadhav after his arrest.
However, 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.