India on Thursday pressed for having an Indian lawyer to represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in a Pakistani court when it takes up his review petition against his death sentence. It is a known fact that fifty-year-old retired Indian Navy officer Mr Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India is in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels on the issue relating to Mr Jadhav. "For a free and fair trial in keeping with the letter and spirit of ICJ judgement, we have asked for Mr Jadhav to be represented by an Indian lawyer. However, Pakistan has to first address the core issues- giving copies of relevant documents of the case and providing unimpeded consular access to Mr Jadhav," he said.
Mr Srivastava was responding to a question on the issue at an online media briefing. India has been demanding "unimpeded" consular access to Mr Jadhav as mandated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Recently, the Islamabad High Court named three senior lawyers as amici curiae in the case of Mr Jadhav and ordered the Pakistan government to give "another chance" to India to appoint a counsel for the death-row prisoner.
In 2017, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Mr Jadhav and challenging the death sentence. The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Mr Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay. Last month, India accused Pakistan of adopting a "farcical" approach in denying available legal remedies to Mr Jadhav against his death sentence in contravention of the ICJ order.