ISLAMABAD: The Islam­a­bad High Court observed on Thursday that since convicted Indian spy Kulbhu­shan Jadhav is a human being, he cannot be denied the right to a fair trial.

In another development, the court called upon the Indian government to ask an official of its mission in Pakistan to attend hearings of the review petition filed against Jadhav’s conviction.

The IHC made these observations during the hearing of a petition filed by the law ministry seeking appointment of a counsel for Jadhav. The three-member bench consisted of Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.

The attorney general informed the court the Inter­national Court of Justice (Review and Recon­sidera­tion) Act, enacted in June last year, laid down that a consular officer of the mission of the state concerned may file a petition before a court for review of a conviction, or sentence, handed down by a military court to its citizen in another country.

The National Assembly had adopted a bill on June 10 giving Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to appeal against the death sentence awarded by a military court in April 2017.

The assembly carried out the legislation in compliance with a ruling given by the Inter­national Court of Justice in July 2019 asking Pakistan to grant the Indian spy the right to appeal against the death sentence and also to give him consular access.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2022

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