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Last Updated Wednesday October 18 2017 12:59 PM IST

Jadhav on death row: Indian envoy to meet Pak foreign secretary, HC denies plea for International Court's help

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Kulbhushan Jadhav Kulbhushan Jadhav. File photo

Islamabad: Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale is expected to meet Pakistan's foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua Wednesday to discuss the issue of Indian prisoner on death row Kulbhushan Jadhav even as the Delhi High Court refused to direct the government to approach the International Court of Justice for the Indian citizen's release from a Pakistani jail.

Sources in the Foreign Office here said that Bambawale has sought the meeting with the foreign secretary.

Read: ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav

"The meeting is expected in the evening," they said.

They said that the issue of Jadhav is likely to be the focus of the meeting as India has been seeking consular access to its convicted citizen.

Pakistan has denied India's request for consular access to Jadhav over a dozen times in the last one year.

Pakistan army spokesman major general Asif Ghafoor has already rejected any chance of granting consular access to Jadhav who was sentenced to death for espionage and subversive activities.

It would be Bambawale's second meeting in less than a week with the foreign secretary, showing increasing concern of India about the fate of Jadhav.

He told media after his previous meeting on April 14 that he had asked for list of charges and authentic copy of verdict of military tribunal against Jadhav to launch appeal against his conviction.

He also said that India was seeking consular access on the basis on international law humanitarian grounds.

The FO in a statement issued after the meeting said that the foreign secretary told Bambawale that during the period of trial of Jadhav, due judicial process was followed and he was provided a lawyer in accordance with relevant laws and the Constitution of Pakistan.

HC denies plea

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to direct the government to approach the International Court of Justice for the release of Jadhav from jail in Pakistan, saying the government was taking necessary steps.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said the government was best placed to take a decision and safeguard the life and liberty of its citizens.

"All steps are being taken by the government. There cannot be any intervention by this court," the bench said, adding that it does not want to interfere in the government's measures to secure the release of Jadhav.

The court accepted the stand of additional solicitor general (ASG) Sanjay Jain that Union of India was making every possible endeavour to get Jadhav back.

Observing that it would be "inappropriate" to openly discuss the "sensitive issue", the bench said "revelation in open court about steps being taken by the government may jeopardize the sensitive efforts to secure his release."

The high court also rejected the petitioner's prayer for issuance of protocol to release Indians abducted/kidnapped in other countries, saying "there cannot be a straight-jacket formula that may be adopted for different situations."

Jadhav, 46, was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial last week, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the "pre-meditated murder" was carried out.

Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was "a serving officer in the Indian Navy."

The Pakistan Army had also released a "confessional video" of Jadhav after his arrest.

However, India denied Pakistan's contention and maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped by the Pakistan authorities.

India had acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he has any connection with the government.

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