Kriti Agrawal –
Pakistan Court has adjourned the hearing of the Indian death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav until October 5, at the request of the country’s top law officer.
In April 2017, a Pakistani military Court condemned Jadhav, retired Indian Navy officer, to death on allegations of espionage and terrorism.
India filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for denying Jadhav consular access and contesting his death sentence.
In July 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague ruled that Pakistan must conduct effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentence, as well as provide India immediate consular access.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) deferred the hearing on the government’s motion to appoint counsel for Jadhav till October 5 at the request of Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan.
The Court also issued a notice to the Indian High Commission’s counsel to appear before the Court on the next hearing date.
The Islamabad High Court bigger panel of Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq, and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb offered India another chance to appoint a counsel for Jadhav by June 15 during the case’s latest hearing on May 7.
At the previous hearing, AGP Khan reminded the Court that India claims that appearing in front of a Pakistani Court to represent Jadhav would amount to acquiescence to the Court’s jurisdiction and would violate India’s sovereign immunity.
Later, the larger Bench issued a three-page written order indicating that submitting to a Court’s jurisdiction is very distinct from being in Court to assist it in a matter.
The order stated, “At this time, the Court is just undertaking proceedings to seek out the best way forward to execute the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”
The current proceedings are being held to ensure that Commander Jadhav is given a fair chance to defend himself in the review processes that the ICJ has ordered to be held.