Pakistan's Parliament passes bill giving Kulbhushan Jadhav right to appeal:


Why in the news?

Recently, The Pakistan Parliament passed a bill that gives Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to appeal against his conviction. 

Key highlights:

  • The International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2020 was passed with a majority vote during a joint sitting of the Parliament on November 17, 2021.
  • The law allowed Jadhav to challenge his conviction in the high court through a review process which was a requirement of the ICJ verdict.

Kulbhushan Jadhav Case:

  • Kulbhushan Jadhav, a 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
  • He was arrested in 2016 by Pakistan on charges of spying and sentenced to death in 2017.
  • India has rejected the charges leveled against the navy officer. Further, it said that he was kidnapped by Pakistani operatives from the Iranian port of Chabahar where he was running a business.
  • India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access (Vienna Convention) to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.
  • The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.
  • The right to appeal as per the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

About the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill of 2020:

  • The bill provides the right of appeal to death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav against the death sentence.
  • The bill was passed after the International Court of Justice(ICJ) in its verdict had asked Pakistan to provide a credible review opportunity to Jadhav.

About ICJ:

  • ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter.
  • It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
  • It is situated at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
  • It settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions in accordance with international law, on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
  • Its official languages are English and French.


  • The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. 
  • In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years and Judges are eligible for re-election.

The Court has two functions:

  • To settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted by States.
  • To give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and specialized agencies.

Vienna Convention:

  • The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations is an international treaty that defines consular relations between independent states.
  • Article 36 of the Vienna Convention states that foreign nationals who are arrested or detained in the host country must be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of that arrest.
  • If the detained foreign national so requests, the police must fax that notice to the embassy or consulate, which can then verify the detained person.

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