New Delhi: Senior Supreme Court lawyer Pavani Parameswara Rao on Monday asserted that there can be no imminent execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav as the matter is pending before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“They (Pakistan) cannot execute Jadhav as of now, because they made a promise before the ICJ that as long as the proceedings are continuing, they cannot execute. So they will honour the commitment,” Rao told.
He said that there are other ways in which the plea for Jadhav’s clemency can be made in Pakistan.
“There are other parties also who have powers of clemency. The President of Pakistan has power to grant pardon, and commute sentence just like the President of India. So therefore they can always make appeal,” he added.
Welcoming the Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s decision to review Jadhav’s case, Rao said, “If he wants to exercise his power then he is most welcome, if he doesn’t do then President of Pakistan can be approached. Even if he does not do that, then the ultimate result is to go to the ICJ where the case is pending.”
The advocate’s remark came a day after Pakistan’s media wing, ISPR, informed that the Paksitan chief was “analysing” evidence against Jadhav.
“The petition of Indian national is now with COAS who’ll decide soon. The Army Chief is looking at each aspect of Jadhav’s appeal,analysing the evidence and will decide on merits”, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.
Jadhav’s clemency appeal has been rejected by the Military Appellate Court. If his appeal for clemency is rejected by General Bajwa, he can then file another mercy petition with President Mamnoon Hussain within 90 days of the Army Chief deciding on his appeal.
Jadhav was arrested on March 3 last year from Balochistan allegedly for espionage attributes. He was later awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court.
India had then moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the death penalty and in its verdict on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.
A leading Pakistani daily has voiced its support in favour of the alleged Indian spy’s mother, saying that she should be granted visa to visit Pakistan on ‘humanitarian grounds as this provides the latest opportunity for India and Pakistan to back away from an increasingly confrontational stance against each other.