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Pakistan plans to appoint lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav

India had accused Pakistan of preventing the retired Indian naval officer from giving a written consent to Indian consular officers to arrange for his legal representation
Kulbhushan Jadhav
Kulbhushan Jadhav
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Anita Joshua   |   New Delhi   |   Published 23.07.20, 04:18 AM

The Pakistan government on Wednesday sought to appoint an advocate for Kulbhushan Jadhav, the retired Indian naval officer sentenced to death by a military court on espionage charges, to file a review petition for him as per the direction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Pakistan’s ministry of law and justice moved a petition in Islamabad High Court asking it to appoint the advocate, stating that Jadhav had refused to file the petition and India had failed to seek a review on his behalf.

India had last week accused Pakistan of preventing Jadhav from giving a written consent to Indian consular officers to arrange for his legal representation.

The petition was filed by Pakistan’s federal government under the ICJ (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance, 2020, promulgated in May to implement the international court’s July 2019 verdict asking Islamabad to review and reconsider the conviction and death sentence in an effective manner.

In Wednesday’s petition, Pakistan said: “Commander Jadhav has refused to engage a lawyer for himself and has refused to file a petition for the review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction.”

Further, according to Pakistan, “Commander Jadhav does not have independent means nor does he possess the capability to engage and instruct a lawyer in Pakistan without assistance from his own country i.e. India which is avoiding the remedy made available by the Federation under the Ordinance.”

Pakistan also said it is in national interest that a legal representative is appointed for and on behalf of Jadhav “so that the review and reconsideration proceedings of the accused’s conviction and sentence may be initiated in terms of the ordinance, thereby discharging Pakistan of its duty to comply with the judgment of the ICJ”.

India did not respond to Pakistan’s move on Wednesday. The ICJ verdict is final and without appeal.

Jadhav has been in Pakistani custody since March 2016.

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