The Islamabad High Court on Monday (August 3) said that Indian officials should get another chance to appoint a lawyer for former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism.
According to Pakistan’s Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan, the court asked the Pakistan government to allow Indian authorities to appoint a lawyer who is licensed to practice in Pakistan.
“Now that the matter is in the high court, why not give India another chance,” Geo News quoted Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who headed the two-member bench as saying.
“The government of Pakistan shall once again inform Jadhav regarding his rights…he shall be specifically informed of his right to avail the statutory remedy…and to authorise the government of India to arrange legal representation on his behalf,” the court said.
The next hearing has been slated for September 3.
The Union Foreign Ministry had earlier accused Pakistan of flouting norms of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by blocking 12 Indian requests for consular meetings. Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a military court in 2017 has so far been allowed only two consular meetings, which were monitored, recorded and supervised by Pakistan officials, India had alleged.
The foreign ministry had alleged that Jadhav was accompanied by Pakistani officials and was under “visible stress” during the second round of meeting arranged last month ahead of the filing of a review petition. India said during the meeting on July 16, the consular officials could not get a written consent from Jadhav for arranging his legal representation.
On July 22, Pakistan in review petition had sought the appointment of a legal representative for Jadhav. Pakistan claimed that Jadhav has refused to file a review petition to reconsider his death sentence.
The ICJ in July 2019 had urged Pakistan to review the death sentence of Jadhav and provide consular access to him as per the Vienna convention.