Pakistan court orders Imran Khan government to authorise India to arrange lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav

A special bench of the Islamabad High Court on Monday directed Pakistani government to not only inform Kulbhushan Jadhav of his right to avail "statutory remedy" but also "authorise" India to arrange a lawyer for the case. The special bench consisted of Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.

Pakistan court orders Imran Khan government to authorise India to arrange lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav

A special bench of the Islamabad High Court on Monday directed Pakistani government to not only inform Kulbhushan Jadhav of his right to avail "statutory remedy" but also "authorise" India to arrange a lawyer for the case. The special bench consisted of Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.

The high court in its order said, "The Government of Pakistan shall once again inform Commander Jadhav regarding his rights under Article 36 of the Convention and the judgment of the International Court will also be brought to his attention. He shall be specifically informed regarding his right to avail the statutory remedy provided under the Ordinance of 2020 and to authorize the Government of India to arrange legal representation on his behalf."

The Imran Khan government had gone to the high court to get a lawyer under an ordinance announced by it in May. The ordinance sought to implement the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict of 2019 that called for the review of the order given out by a military court on Jadhav.

The order asked Pakistan government to communicate high court's order to India and it "shall be at liberty to make appropriate arrangements on behalf of" Jadhav in the "context of the Convention, read with the statutory right made available under the Ordinance of 2020, so as to give effect to the judgment of the International Court".

India tried to file a petition on July 18 via its Pakistani lawyer under the ordinance but in absence of power of attorney and supporting legal documents, this could not be done. The ordinance had a time period of 60 days with July 20 being the last date to file the petition.

While Pakistan had called Indian diplomats to meet before the ordinance expires, the Ministry of External Affairs has said that the meet was scuttled by Pakistan authorities. The MEA said, "The Consular Officers were instructed not to hand over any document to Jadhav. Hence, the Indian Consular Officers could not obtain a Power of Attorney from Jadhav."

The high court also said that it expects "right to a fair trial" for Jadhav which "will be respected and utmost care will be exercised while making statements, verbal or in writing, reporting by print and electronic media". The next hearing of the case at the Islamabad HC will take place on September 3 at 2.30 pm (IST).