Pakistan HC allows India to appoint lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav

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NEW DELHI: The Islamabad High Court on Monday ordered the Pakistan government to give India a ‘chance’ to appoint a representative for Kulbhushan Jadhav while hearing a petition on appointing a lawyer for him, Pakistani media reported.
According to some reports, the Islamabad high court asked the government to allow appointing a legal counsel for Indian death-row prisoner Jadhav.
The hearing in the matter has been adjourned till September 3.
A two-member bench comprising IHC chief justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard a petition filed by the Pakistan government to appoint a lawyer for Jadhav.
In a unilateral move, Pakistan had filed the petition in the court on July 22, seeking appointment of a “legal representative” for Jadhav.
However, the main parties, including the government of India, were not consulted ahead of the filing of the application by the ministry of law and justice under an ordinance which was enacted on May 20.
Responding to the judge’s remarks, Pakistan’s Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan said an ordinance was issued to give an opportunity to India and Jadhav to file a review petition against the sentence.
“We will contact India again through the Foreign Office,” he said.
Under the ‘International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance 2020′, which was enacted on May 20, a petition for the review of a military court’s decision can be made to Islamabad HC through an application within 60 days of its promulgation.
The ordinance was approved by the parliament this week.
Jadhav, the 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.
The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

Pakistan government, in the petition, has asked the IHC to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav so that Pakistan can fulfil its responsibility to see to the implementation of the ICJ’s decision, local media reports said.
Meanwhile, MEA spokesperson said Pakistan is not only in violation of the judgment of ICJ, but also of its own ordinance.