Pak court gives India
more time to appoint
lawyer in Jadhav case

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court has given India more time to appoint a lawyer to review the death sentence ordered to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

According to a report in Dawn, an IHC larger bench, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Amer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, on Tuesday took up a petition filed by the law ministry seeking a lawyer for the Indian spy.

Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was arrested in March 2016 in Balochistan, according to Pakistan authority. He was sentenced to death by Pakistan military court in 2017. India has rejected Pakistan’s allegations and said he was kidnapped from the Iranian port of Chabahar. In early 2017, a Pakistani military court sentenced him to death.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the attorney general Khalid Jawed Khan showed the court correspondence between Pakistan and India for providing counsel to Jadhav in order to comply with the verdict in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

He said the Indian government did not respond and argued that the federal government had filed the petition seeking the appointment of a lawyer so that the verdict of the military court could be revisited at an appropriate forum.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday allowed India more time to appoint a lawyer to represent death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav in the court to hear a review of his conviction and sentencing by a military court.

Jadhav, a 51-year-old Indian Navy officer and undercover RAW operative, was sentenced to death by a military court for espionage and terrorism in April 2017. On Tuesday, a three-judge bench of the court, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, heard the case by the law ministry regarding designating a lawyer for Jadhav, reports the Indian media.

Kulbhushan Jadhav meeting his mother and wife at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Islamabad on Dec. 25, 2017.

Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan informed the court about an order passed on May 5 asking the authorities to make one more effort to contact India for appointment of a counsel. He informed the court that the message was conveyed to India but there had been no response so far.

Khan also told the court that India wanted consular access to Jadhav in a separate room, but the authorities cannot take the risk of leaving him alone with Indian representatives. He claimed Pakistan was making efforts for a complete implementation on the decision of review and reconsideration of the ICJ, but India was creating hurdles.

The ICJ has ruled that Pakistan was in breach of its international obligations because of the failure to provide consular access to Jadhav.

In June, the Pakistan National Assembly had adopted the Bill to give the right of appeal to Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav in regard to the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling.

In 2020, the Pakistan government presented an ordinance in the National Assembly The ‘International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance 2020’. India has said Pakistan must take appropriate steps to address the shortcomings of the bill.