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Review Jadhav sentence, grant consular access, ICJ tells Pak.

World court rejects claim that the Vienna Convention doesn’t apply in a ‘spy case’

In a major verdict that accepted India’s plea that former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s trial under espionage and terror charges in Pakistan violated international law, the International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan should “review and reconsider” his conviction and death sentence. The court, based at The Hague in the Netherlands, also ruled that Pakistan should give the Indian government consular access to Mr. Jadhav, something Pakistan has failed to do in the three years since his arrest and to stay the execution of his sentence, pending the review process.

The ICJ held that the denial of consular access constituted a “breach” of article 36 para 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) which Pakistan is a signatory to, which stipulates that all foreign nationals arrested must be given access to their government or local embassy, and rejected Pakistan’s counter-claim that the Vienna convention didn’t apply in a case of espionage.

Karnataka’s rebel MLAs need not attend House: SC

Says Speaker can decide on resignations ‘when appropriate’

Gearing for a fight: Congress leader Siddaramaiah going to meet the Speaker on Wednesday.K. MURALI KUMAR

The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the 15 dissident MLAs from Karnataka complete freedom to opt out of the ongoing Assembly session even as it acknowledged the Speaker’s discretion to decide on their resignations as and when he considers it appropriate.

A five-page order pronounced by a Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, gave a clear indication to the 15 rebel Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) legislators, led by Pratap Gouda Patil, that they could bail out of the trust vote scheduled for July 18.

“Until further orders, the 15 members of the Assembly ought not to be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing session of the House and an option should be given to them that they can take part in the said proceedings or to opt to remain out of the same,” the interim order said.

The free run given by the Supreme Court to the dissident legislators means they can defy a party whip without fear of disqualification for defection under clause 2 (b) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. Clause 2 (b) mandates that a legislator is liable for defection if he or she “votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs or by any person or authority authorised by it in this behalf...”

Hafiz Saeed held in terror financing case

Sent to prison on judicial remand, to face trial in Anti-Terrorism Court

Hafiz Saeed

Pakistan on Wednesday arrested Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people.

An FIR against Saeed, who has been declared a global terrorist by the U.S. and the UN, and four others — Abdul Ghaffar, Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza and Malik Zafar Iqbal — was registered at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in Gujranwala, Punjab, on July 1 on charges of terror financing. According to a statement from the CTD Punjab spokesperson, Saeed “has been sent to prison on judicial remand... He will face trial in the ATC [Anti-terrorism Court] Gujranwala in the said case.”

A spokesman for Saeed’s group, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a wing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, confirmed the arrest to the news agency AFP.

Lahore bureau chief of Geo News Raees Ansari said Saeed was arrested on his way from Lahore to a court in Gujranwala to seek anticipatory bail. “Saeed got interim bail from an anti-terrorism court in Lahore earlier this week. The CTD, anticipating another interim bail — which is a norm in such cases — arrested him before he could reach the Gujranwala ATC,” said Mr. Ansari.

Bill to revamp medical education cleared

National Exit Test must for practice

In a move to bring sweeping changes to the medical education sector, the Centre plans to introduce the National Medical Commission Bill in this session of Parliament and repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

The Union Cabinet approved a revised version of the Bill on Wednesday, almost two years after the original version was introduced in Parliament in December 2017. The 2017 Bill, which had provoked widespread protests over a proposal for bridge courses to allow AYUSH practitioners to prescribe allopathic medicines, was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee and amended to remove that contentious initiative. However, it lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.

The current Bill proposes to convert the final year MBBS examination into a licentiate exam, which will be a requirement for doctors to practise medicine. The examination, to be called the National Exit Test (NEXT), will also be used for entrance into post-graduate medical courses, and act as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.

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