Appeal option in Pakistan an illusory and worthless remedy, India told ICJ

Pakistan's appeal process in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case offers an "illusory remedy" as a military court will hear a plea against the country's army chief General Qamar Bajwa's order, the entire affair amounting to an entreaty from "Caesar to Caesar", India said in its petition at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"The death sentence stands confirmed by the chief of army staff. An appeal before a tribunal presided over by him or officers junior to him would be an appeal from Caesar to Caesar," India said in its 82-page petition. India said an April 18 report in Pakistan-based daily Dawn stated that an appeal process was under way, and the appellate tribunal would be headed by a two-star general.

"The spokesperson is quoted as having said that he did not see any chance of the verdict being overturned," the Indian plea noted.

The Vienna Convention spelt out the provision for consular access without exception and Pakistan had repeatedly violated Jadhav's rights, India said. It was impossible for India to assess Jadhav's well-being and his access to any judicial process and this required the ICJ to use its jurisdiction and stay his execution, it added.

"This court (ICJ) would have the jurisdiction to, and the facts of the case demand that this court does, set aside the conviction of the Indian national. Alternatively, this court may... direct Pakistan to take such steps as may be necessary to set aside the conviction of the accused," the Indian petition said. 

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