India on Wednesday called as "farce" Pakistan's claim that Kulbhushan Jadhav, on a death row in an alleged espionage case, has refused to file an appeal against his sentence.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said Jadhav has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case, and termed it as a "brazen attempt" to scuttle even the inadequate remedy available to him.
"Pakistan's claim that Jadhav, who is incarcerated in Pakistan's custody, has refused to initiate review petition is a continuation of the farce that has been in play for the last four years," Srivastava said.
He was responding to media queries on Pakistani media reports that Jadhav refused to file an appeal in the Islamabad High Court against his death sentence.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" in April 2017 following which India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking a stay on his death sentence.
In July, 2017, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav.
"Jadhav has been sentenced to execution through a farcical trial. He remains under custody of Pakistan's military. He has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case," the MEA spokesperson said.
He said India sought "unimpeded access" to Jadhav to discuss the remedies available to him under an ordinance.
"In a brazen attempt to scuttle even the inadequate remedy under the ordinance, Pakistan has obviously coerced Jadhav to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the International Court of Justice," he said.
On May 20, Pakistan passed an ordinance to allow for the high court to review the sentence awarded by their military courts.
"The ICJ has already held that Pakistan is in egregious violation of international law. Government will do its utmost to protect Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India. To that end, it would consider all appropriate options," Srivastava said.
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