MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that for a free and fair trial of Jadhav, and in keeping with the letter and spirit of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment in the case, India has asked that Jadhav be represented by an Indian lawyer during his review plea.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed on Thursday said that it was in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels with respect to the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. ANI quoted MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava as saying that for a free and fair trial of Jadhav, and in keeping with the letter and spirit of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment in the case, India has asked that Jadhav be represented by an Indian lawyer during his review plea.
The MEA spokesperson added that besides this it is also important that Pakistan addresses the ‘core issues’ in the case. “These issues involve the provision of relevant documents and providing unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Srivastava said.
Earlier, a court in Pakistan had constituted a bench of three members to hear Pak government’s petition regarding the appointment of a legal representative for Kulbhushan. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) took the decision based on the ruling that ordered setting up of a larger bench to hear Jadhav’s case. The Islamabad High Court also appointed three senior lawyers as amici curiae in Jadhav’s case and ordered the Pakistan government to give “another chance” to India to appoint a counsel for him.
Pakistan had provided India consular access to Jadhav on July 16, but the Indian government said that Jadhav appeared visibly under stress and the access was “neither meaningful nor credible”.
A Pakistani military court, in April 2017, had sentenced to death Kulbhushan Jadhav, a 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, on charges of espionage and terrorism. On denial of consular access to Jadhav and in challenge of the death sentence, India approached the International Court of Justice against Pakistan.
In July 2019, the Hague-based ICJ granted immediate consular access to India and ruled that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav.