ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday deferred the hearing in government’s plea seeking the appointment of a legal representative for the Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav for filing his review petition against his death sentence. 

The special larger bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb was to conduct hearing of the government’s plea seeking appointment of a legal representative for the Indian spy for filing his review petition against his death sentence. 

However, the court adjourned the hearing in this connection till March 3 due to non-availability of the bench as Justice Athar Minallah was on leave due to his illness.  

Previously, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan and court’s amici curiae Advocate Hamid Khan appeared before the court. Khan said that the court had passed an order on May 5 regarding making one more effort for the appointment of a counsel. 

The AGP informed the bench that India was conveyed the message as per the court’s order but there has been no response in this regard so far.  He also informed that India wanted consular access to Jadhav in a separate room, but that cannot be granted by any country. 

He maintained that authorities could not leave Kulbhushan alone with Indian representatives because they can cause harm to him even by just shaking hands with him. The AGP said that the Pakistan government wanted complete implementation on the decision of review and reconsideration of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), but India intentionally did not want it. 

He said that it was in this situation that the federal government had requested for the appointment of a counsel. Khan continued that India wants to appoint a counsel from outside but our law does not allow this. 

At this juncture, the IHC Chief Justice observed that Pakistan wanted to implement the ICJ decision, but India did not have an interest in it. He asked that would it not be better to give them another opportunity so they could put forth their reservations before the court. 

The bench asked the AGP to convey the message of the court to the Indian government and the spy. It said to send another reminder to Kulbhushan and the Indian government. If India has any reservations, it may convey them here, or someone from the Indian embassy in Pakistan may convey them. That might bring forth a solution. 

In this matter, the federal government filed the petition regarding the death sentence of convicted Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, to implement the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to meet the requirements of a fair trial.