Kulbhushan Jadhav case at ICJ in the Hague: All you need to know about India's representative Harish Salve

The International Court of Justice at the Hague in the Netherlands suspended the death sentence against the alleged spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. Jadhav was given a death sentence by a Pakistani military court on 10 April on the charges of espionage and waging war against Islamabad.

Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, was allegedly arrested in Balochistan in March 2016 and Pakistan said Jadhav worked for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) fuelling the Baloch separatist movement and attempting to sabotage the CPEC project.

File image of Harish Salve. Wikimedia Commons

File image of Harish Salve. Wikimedia Commons

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ICJ said: "On 8 May, 2017, the Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of aegregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations' (hereinafter the Vienna Convention') in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan," the ICJ said in a statement on Tuesday.

Harish Salve will be representing India in this matter.

Salve is the former solicitor general of India and has represented many high profile cases. Salve comes from an illustrious family of lawyers, his grandfather PK Salve was a successful criminal lawyer who was also a part of the Freedom Movement in India.

Early in his career, Salve assisted Nani Palkhivala, a notable tax lawyer in Mumbai and then went on to work with Soli Sarabjee. In 1992, he was made a senior counsel by the Supreme Court and in 1999, he was appointed to be the Solicitor General of India. However, in 2002 when he was given a second term, Salve declined. According to Hindustan Times, it was because of his difference with then then ruling party's stand in the Best Bakery Gujarat riots case.

He cited personal reasons for declining this second term, according to The Hindu and is quoted as saying, "In fact, I had a difficult time convincing the government to give me a short break to attend to my personal problem. I will be back after a short break."

In 2011, Salve recused himself from an illegal mining case citing that he had represented one or more parties, reports Hindustan Times.

Notable cases

Salve represented Vodafone in a tax case against the government and helped the company win the Rs 11,000 crore case. Mohan Parasaran, who represented the government in this case, has said that Salve presented his case from both macro and micro perspectives and that the argued extensively.

According to the profile on Salve, written shortly after this win, by Forbes:

"If you had to prepare a list of the top 10 lawyers in the country...Salve would easily figure on it. He is described by some as a “legal robot”, which is perhaps a recognition of his methodical execution. Salve has represented most high profile politicians, big business...and even states. He is counsel for Kerala in the Mullaperiyar Dam case."

According to Forbes, Salve also ensured that the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) charges were dropped against the Godhra accused. According to India Today, Salve is also the amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the Gujarat riot case and in the matters pertaining to environment.

He helped Ratan Tata in a privacy petition in the Niira Radia tapes matter.

Salve represented the Delhi police in a case regarding the crackdown on Baba Ramdev and his followers during their protest against corruption. Salve, according to a report in The Hindu, questioned the event's organisers for pointing fingers at the Delhi Police.

More recently, however, Salve was disallowed by the Supreme Court of Singapore from appearing before it on behalf of Ranbaxy. The corporate was hoping to find an alternate solution to the award in the tune of more than $500 million that it would have to pay Daiichi for failing to disclose risks involved in buyout.

How much do his services cost? 

Salve is one of the most expensive lawyers in the country. According to Legally India, he charges between Rs 6,00,000 to Rs 15,00,000 per court appearance.

With inputs from agencies 

Updated Date: May 10, 2017 12:24 PM

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