Meet lawyer Harish Salve, who defended Kulbhushan Jadhav at ICJ
This week, India registered a big win at International Court of Justice, as it was granted consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired navy officer who is jailed in Pakistan. The man who made this possible is former Solicitor General Harish Salve. With his arguments, Salve ensured ICJ ruled in India's favor. If you want to know more about India's legal hero, read on.
In 2016, Jadhav was captured by Pakistan and in 2017, a military court gave him death sentence on charges of "terrorism and espionage". The same year, India moved ICJ to point out how Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by not allowing consular access to Jadhav. Agreeing with India's argument, ICJ on Wednesday asked Pakistan to suspend Jadhav's punishment and granted consular access to GOI.
ICJ ruled in India's favor, owing to the concerted efforts of Salve. Now, he is one of India's most expensive lawyers, his client list boasting of names like Salman Khan and Ambanis, but he charged token money of Rs. 1 to defend Jadhav. On the other hand, Pakistan spent Rs. 20 crore to prove that Jadhav is an Indian spy.
Interestingly, Salve comes from an extremely educated family. His grandfather PK Salve, was a renowned criminal lawyer. Born in Nagpur to chartered accountant NKP Salve and Dr. Ambriti Salve on June 22, 1955, Salve was also a CA before he changed paths. He assisted eminent tax lawyer Nani Palkhivala and got inspired to don the black coat. Salve also worked under Soli Sorabjee.
Salve's legal career began in 1980 at JB Dadachandji & Co, where he worked as an intern. Between 1980 and 1986, he worked under Sorabjee. In 1992, he was designated a senior counsel in Supreme Court, and in 1999 became Solicitor General of India. When he was offered a second term in 2004, Salve denied citing "personal reasons". In 2013, he was admitted to English Bar.
Salve, who plays piano and is a jazz aficionado, is the go-to lawyer among India's elite. "He is successful because he is hard-working and his capacity to think on his feet is excellent. It also helps that he never loses his temper," senior advocate PH Parakh said about him once. It was Salve, who quickly got Salman bail after the Bollywood star was convicted of culpable homicide and rewarded five years sentence in 2015.
In 2012, Salve helped Vodafone win a Rs. 11,000-crore tax case against the government. He appeared for Mukesh Ambani in Reliance gas dispute case, and reportedly the Reliance honcho spent Rs. 15 crore on his fees. Salve also fought for Aarushi Talwar's parents, who were accused of killing their adolescent daughter in a fit of rage. He argued the first Anti-Dumping case in SC.
While he is known to charge Rs. 30 lakh/day, Salve also fights for free if he is convinced of his client's innocence. SC had appointed him as amicus curiae in 2002 Gujarat riots case, including that of Bilkis Bano. Salve has also represented victims of Uphaar fire tragedy. According to Bhagwati Prasad, former chief justice of Rajasthan HC, he inspires confidence among his clients.
Now, Salve may have won many cases, but the victory at ICJ would definitely have been the sweetest one. Speaking to reporters in London, he said he was gratified as a lawyer. "It is a good moment for us to help (Kulbhushan) Jadhav get justice and ensure he gets a fair trial," he added. Well, the credit goes to you, Sir.