Will go to any extent to ensure justice: Rajnath on Jadhav's death sentence

| Updated: Apr 15, 2017 02:04 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Apr. 14 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday expressed his concern over Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence and said that the government will go to any extent to ensure justice to the alleged Indian spy. "All efforts are being made and will go to any extent to ensure justice. According to me, no transparent trial was given to him (Kulbhushan Jadhav)," Singh said. Singh earlier on Tuesday told the Lower House that how Jadhav can be a spy when he had a valid Indian visa. He also took on Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav. "Basic norms of law and justice were violated. I want to tell the House that the government will do whatever it takes to make sure Kulbhushan Jadhav gets justice," Singh said. Earlier in the day, Pakistan asked India to refrain from issuing statements that could aggravate hostility between the two sides post the death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav. In a press briefing, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said there is a need to arrest the growing crisis in Pakistan-India relations before it becomes serious. Aziz claimed that due process was followed in the trials that led to awarding death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and subversive activities in Pakistan. He said that Jadhav was tried under the law of the land in a fairly transparent manner and awarded punishment on the basis of credible and specific evidence of his involvement in financing terrorism and carrying out subversive activities in Pakistan. Putting the ball in India's court, he also claimed that the Letter of Assistance requesting specific information and access to certain key witnesses was shared with New Delhi in January this year. "Inflammatory statements and rhetoric about 'pre-meditated murder' and 'unrest in Balochistan' will only result in escalation, serving no useful purpose," Radio Pakistan quoted Aziz as saying. The Advisor said that a number of steps were taken during Jadhav's trial to ensure transparency under Pakistani law and Pakistan Army Act. "His confessional statement was recorded before a magistrate; a qualified officer was provided to defend him throughout proceedings; all statements of witnesses were recorded under oath in the presence of accused and Jadhav was allowed to ask questions from witnesses," he added. About options available to Jadhav, he said the convict has right of appeal within forty days to an appellate court and he may lodge a mercy petition to the Army Chief within sixty days of the decision by the appellate court. Aziz added that the convict may lodge a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the Chief of Army Staff's decision on the mercy petition. A military court in Pakistan earlier this week found Jadhav guilty on two counts of espionage and sentenced him to death. Jadhav was arrested in March last year, "for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan," according to a statement released by the Pakistan armed forces. (ANI)

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