Islamabad high court forms special bench to hear Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case

The Islamabad high court has formed a special bench to hear the case of former Indian navy commander Kulbushan Jadhav from next week, Geo News reported on Thursday. Jadhav, a former Indian navy commander, has been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a spying case.

Islamabad high court chief justice Athar Minallah will be heading the bench. A lawyer will also be appointed for Jadhav on Monday.

Earlier this week, the Pakistan government presented the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance, 2020, in Parliament for approval. This legislation will pave the way for Jadhav to appeal his death sentence handed to him by a military court in 2017.

The ordinance will have an overriding effect as its provisions shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force, including the Pakistan Army Act 1952.

On July 22, the Pakistan government had approached the Islamabad high court to appoint a legal representative for the Indian spy.

The move was made in the light of the International Court of Justice’s July 17, 2019 decision, following which the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance, 2020 was enacted to implement the court’s verdict.

According to the government’s petition, Jadhav refused to file a petition against his sentence. Jadhav cannot appoint a lawyer in Pakistan without India’s assistance. The petition claimed that New Delhi is also reluctant to avail the facility under the ordinance.

The government, in the petition, has asked the court to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav so that Pakistan can fulfil its responsibility to 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”.

Last week, India had accused Pakistan of blocking all avenues for an effective review of Jadhav’s case and said it reserved its rights to avail of further remedies.

The external affairs ministry had accused Islamabad of systematically blocking access to the former naval officer, not providing documents related to his case and violating the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) order for a review of his conviction.

Source: Hindustan Times

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