IHC forms larger bench to hear Kulbhushan Jadhav case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday formed a larger bench to hear a case regarding the appointment of a legal counsel for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

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The larger bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mian Gull Hassan Auranzgeb, will hear the case on September 3.

On July 22, the government had approached the IHC to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav. The move was made in the light of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) July 17, 2019 decision, following which the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance, 2020 was enacted to implement the ICJ’s verdict.

According to the petition filed by the Pakistani government, Jadhav has so far refused to file a petition against his sentence.

The Indian spy cannot appoint a lawyer in Pakistan without India’s assistance, while New Delhi is also reluctant to avail the facility under the ordinance, the petition said.

The government, in the petition, has asked the court to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav so that Pakistan could fulfill its responsibility and see to the implementation of the ICJ’s decision.

On July 17, Pakistan had offered Jadhav consular access for a third time, after the second opportunity was not fully availed.

In July 2019, the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan must grant consular access to India without any delay and at the same called for the “effective review and reconsideration” of Jadhav’s case.

Commander Jadhav — an Indian Navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan after he entered Pakistan from Iran.

According to a statement by the Foreign Office, he had confessed during investigation “to his involvement in terrorist activities inside Pakistan that resulted in the loss of many precious human lives”.

“He also made important revelations about RAW’s role in sponsoring state terrorism in Pakistan,” the statement had added.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on April 10, 2017.

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