New Delhi: India on Thursday said that it has asked Pakistan to permit an Indian lawyer to represent former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav when his review petition comes up in a Pakistani civilian court against the verdict sentencing him to death on charges of “espionage and sabotage”.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “On this issue, we are in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels. For a free and fair trial in keeping with the letter and spirit of ICJ judgement, we have asked for Mr Jadhav to be represented by an Indian lawyer. However, Pakistan has to first address the core issues — giving copies of relevant documents of the case and providing unimpeded consular access to Jadhav.”
India had last month hired a Pakistani lawyer after Islamabad told New Delhi that the relevant documents in the Jadhav case could be handed over only to an authorised Pakistani lawyer. But New Delhi had stated earlier that to “our surprise, as advised by the Pakistani authorities, when the authorised Pakistani lawyer approached the concerned authorities, they declined to handover the documents to the lawyer”.
On April 10, 2017, a Pakistani military court had sentenced him to death.
In 2017, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenged 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.