Senior Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve, who defended Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav in the International Court of Justice, revealed that India resorted to ‘back-channel’ efforts to ‘persuade Islamabad’ to release the former Indian Navy officer who was arrested in Pakistan on espionage charges.
According to a report in the Indian Express, Salve said that India was hopeful that Pakistan would release Jadhav. Because it’s become a big ego problem in Pakistan. So, we were hoping they would let him go, they haven’t.” Salve said.
Last year, reports of Pakistan amending its Army Act to allow Jadhav the right to file an appeal in a civilian court in compliance with the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) verdict were mere speculation, said the Pakistan Army.
The report said, a special amendment is being made under the Army Act for Jadhav in view that the existing act forbade individuals or groups being tried under Military courts from filing an appeal and seeking justice from the civilian court.
However, former Pakistan Army spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that these reports are mere speculations. He tweeted, "Speculations for amendment in Pak Army Act to implement ICJ verdict regarding convicted Indian terrorist Cdr Kulbushan Jadhav are incorrect. Various legal options for review and reconsideration of the case are being considered. Final status shall be shared in due course of time."
In July 2019, the ICJ, by a vote of 15-1 in the Jadhav case, upheld India's claim that Pakistan is in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations on several counts. The world court had ordered Islamabad to carry out an effective "review and reconsideration" of his conviction.
In 2016, Jadhav was arrested for alleged espionage activity and was put on death row in Pakistan. At the time, defending its decision, Islamabad said, ‘Jadhav had allegedly obtained a fake passport in the name of Hussein Mubarak Patel from Pune in November 2003.’
The Pakistan armed forces had even released a video of Jadhav a week after his arrest. However, India video has been found 'doctored' by the Indian government and many experts.