Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Meet Harish Salve, the lawyer representing India at ICJ

A former solicitor general, Salve has appeared in a string of high profile cases.

Noted Lawyer Harish Salve is representing India’s case against the death sentence to the alleged spy Kulbhushan Jadhav in the International Court of Justice. The Court  proceedings are underway at Hague where legal teams of both India and Pakistan are making oral observations. On April 10, Jadhav was awarded capital punishment by a Pakistani military court for abetting terror and waging war against Islamabad.

Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer was allegedly arrested in Pakistan’s Baloch province in March 2016. He has been accused of working for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) fuelling the Baloch separatist movement and attempting to sabotage the CPEC project.

On May 9, ICJ, headquartered at Hague in Netherlands, suspended the death sentence against Jadhav. “On 8 May, 2017, the Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of egregious 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.

Salve has urged to the court that consular access to Jadhav is the right of India and the Indian. “There is a stand alone obligation for consular access, which is not just the right of the State but also the right of the accused – and that is basically meant that right from the time you are arrested in the foreign country you have the benefit of consular access,” Salve told a news channel.

A former solicitor general, Salve has appeared in a string of  high profile cases. Salve is one of the most sought after lawyers among bollywood celebs, corporate honchos and politicians for his legal acumen and exceptional argumentative skills.

Born into a family of lawyers , Salve first qualified as Chartered accountant, however, he later realised that his true calling lies in practicing law and moved to this  profession.

His client list includes Salman Khan (hit and run case), Ratan Tata ( privacy petition concerning Nira Radia tapes), Keshub Mahindra ( Bhopal Gas tragedy) Lalit Modi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Parkash Singh Badal. Salve got an interim bail for Salman Khan in hit and run case hours after his verdict got out, on the grounds that he had not been given a copy of the conviction order by the sessions court. The legal eagle was named the 18th most powerful person in India by India Today magazine in 2009. Salve has also represented the Delhi police in the case regarding the crackdown on supporters of Baba Ramdev. Salve appeared for Bilkis Bano, a victim of the Gujarat Riots, at the behest of the National Human Rights Commission in 2003.

Salve’s big moment came when he won Mukesh Ambani’s gas dispute against brother Anil who was represented by Ram Jethmalani.  Salve has also represented Vodafone in a tax case against the Indian government that  helped the telecome giant win the Rs 11,000 crore case.