Islamabad: The Islamabad high court on Monday ordered the Pakistan government to give "another chance" to India to appoint a lawyer for death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav.
A two judge-bench, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, heard a petition filed by the Pakistan government to appoint a lawyer for Jadhav.
The Pakistan government, in the petition, asked the court to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav so that it can fulfil its responsibility to see to the implementation of the ICJ's decision. It also claimed that Jadhav refused to file a review petition to reconsider the verdict against him by the military court.
"Now that the matter is in the high court, why not give India another chance," Justice Minallah was quoted as saying by Geo News.
"India and Kulbhushan Jadhav should once again be extended an offer to appoint a legal representative" for the death row prisoner, he added.
The court ordered the ministry of foreign affairs to approach India and Jadhav again to make them a part of the hearing. The attorney general Khalid Jawed Khan assured the court that the government will follow the court’s directives.
The judge also instructed government officials to not make any unnecessary comments on the case. The hearing has been adjourned till September 3.
When asked whether Indian lawyers could appear in Islamabad high court on behalf of Jadhav, Khan said that “only Pakistani lawyers and those who are entitled to practice in Pakistan” can be appointed.
Another report said that the court is yet to consider whether Indian lawyers will be representing Jadhav or any lawyer in Pakistan, including those with Indian nationality, can do so.
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 International Court of Justice 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 Mr Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.