A counsel representing the Indian High Commission in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday challenged the high court’s decision to appoint a defence counsel in the case. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah headed a larger bench hearing into a case against Kulbhushan Jadhav and heard a petition filed from the Indian High Commission (IHC) against the appointment of a defence counsel for the Indian spy. The high court directed the attorney general to submit a response on the application of the Indian authorities and said in its remarks that they were proceeding in the case as per the directions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The IHC represented by Barrister Shahnawaz Noon took a plea before the court that the high court was not proceeding as per the requirements of the IHC. “India has stressed upon the rights granted to its citizen under Vienna Convention and the ICJ’s decision,” he said, adding that they had the right to arrange for legal counsel for their citizen. He further said that they do not have a ‘vakalatnama’ in the case to plead on behalf of Kulbhushan Jadhav in the case. During the proceedings, Justice Minallah asked Barrister Shahnawaz Noon, the lawyer representing the Indian High Commission, whether or not he had informed New Delhi about the Jadhav case. The lawyer replied that the Indian government was of the view that the case did not fall in the IHC jurisdiction. Justice Minallah told him that the matter was not about jurisdiction but this court had taken up the Jadhav case for the implementation of the ICJ verdict. “If India does not wish the implementation of the ICJ judgement, it should inform us,” he added. “India is no doubt an autonomous state and we respect its autonomy. We are not overstepping our jurisdiction and only seek the implementation of the ICJ verdict.” The high court adjourned the proceedings for May 5. The Indian authorities have previously avoided responding in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and for the time approached the court saying that they have the right to provide legal counsel to the Indian citizen. On January 14, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the federal government to contact the Indian government again regarding the appointment of legal counsel to Kulbhushan Jadhav. The judge remarked that the Indian High Commission has not appointed a counsel yet despite being sent notices four times. The IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the Indian government is apparently not serious in Jadhav’s matters.