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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan Court asks India to cooperate in legal proceedings

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ICJ Law Insider IN

ICJ Law Insider IN

Lekha G

A Top Pakistani Court has asked India to cooperate in the legal proceedings concerning the case of death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav, saying that appearing before the Court does not mean a waiver of sovereignty.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, a 51-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, on charges of espionage and terrorism was sentenced to death by Pakistani military in April 2017.

India approached the International Court of Justice challenging the death sentence and denial of consular access against Pakistan. The Hague based ICJ ruled in favour of India in July 2019 and further asked Pakistan to provide a proper forum for appeal against the sentence given to Jadhav by a military court.

A three-member Bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday resumed hearing of the petition filed by Pakistan’s Ministry of Law and Justice seeking statutory remedy for Jadhav according to the ruling of International Court of Justice.

Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan contended that the Indian Government was deliberately avoiding joining the Court’s proceedings so that the Court would dismiss the petition and also that it raised objections to a trial before a Pakistani Court.

It had even declined to appoint a Counsel for the IHC’s proceedings stating it would amount to a waiver of their sovereign rights. He further said that the Indian Government had deliberately objected to create default which would serve as a base for them to justify going to the ICJ again.

A report said that the Chief Justice expressed surprise that the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, which had approached the IHC once upon a ti seeking the release of five prisoners and had secured a decision in their favour, was questioning the legitimacy of the same court.

He further ordered the Attorney General to remind Indian Government that the Court had acknowledged their sovereign rights and said the Indian Government must inform how they want the Court to proceed in implementing the ICJ’s decision.

The Attorney General believed that if the matter was not pending before the IHC, the Indian authorities would have filed a Contempt of Court against Pakistani Government with the ICJ for non-compliance of the latter’s decision.

The Court directed the Attorney General to proceed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its communication with the Indian Authorities.

The Court adjourned the proceedings till June 15.

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