New Delhi. 27 July 2020. Kulbhushan Jadhav’s legal rights , his consular access and India’s fight to get him back safely before Pakistan convicts him on what they think are spying charges, are getting difficult. But India continues to tap every possibility of getting his release.

Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson MEA stated in his weekly media briefing, “now, you would know that we have so far requested in the past one year, 12 times. We have requested for Consular access to Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav and Pakistan has not been able to provide unimpeded, unhindered, and unconditional access. You would have also seen my press statement of 16th of July where we described how the consular access, the so-called consular access, which was provided by Pakistan and that meeting that our Consular officials had with Shri Jadhav on that day was scuttled. Our Consular officials were not allowed to hand over documents to him. They were not allowed to obtain a power of attorney from Shri Jadhav.”

“Thereafter, and in fact, similarly on the other front, in terms of seeking relevant documents in order to file his review petition, we had been advised by Pakistan that they would be handed over to an authorized Pakistani lawyer. Now, these documents were in terms of the FIRs, the charge sheet, the orders judgments of the Pakistani Court, including a Field general court martial. So, we had been advised that this would be handed over to an authorized Pakistani lawyer. Now, India appointed a lawyer and we wanted to obtain the relevant documents, but to our surprise when the authorized lawyer went to the concerned authorities, his request was declined,” he added.

“Now, in the absence of both, a meaningful Consular access, as well as relevant documents as a last resort, we tried to file his review petition in court on the 18th of July. However, our Pakistani lawyer was informed that review petition could not be filed in the absence of a power of attorney and the supporting documents. So, what has happened is that Pakistan has also created confusion in terms of the last date of filing. They earlier told us that it would be the 19th of July. Thereafter, they said that it is the 20th of July. There’s also been considerable inadequacies and shortcomings in the ordinance which has been promulgated by them. It in no way does it fulfill or does it give complete weight to the judgment of the ICJ. There’s also been a considerable delay in informing India. They took about two weeks to inform us about this ordinance. And only when we asked did they provide us a copy of the ordinance.

So what appears is that Pakistan’s actions with regard to the ordinance, the whole exercise of not providing documents as requested by us, of not providing unhindered, unimpeded and unconditional Consular access, as well as, some of the reported unilateral action of recently approaching the High Court, all of it again exposes their complete farcical nature of Pakistan’s approach. Pakistan has blocked all avenues for an effective remedy available to India. Now, Pakistan stands not only in violation of the judgment of the ICJ, but its own ordinance. And in this light, India reserves its position in the matter, including its right to avail of further remedies. So this is in terms of you know, this is a rather long response to your questions, but I think this background was important and this clearly is what our present position is,” he concluded.