The Indian government today described criticism over the appointment of senior lawyer Harish Salve to represent India at the International Court of Justice to fight its case against Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue as unfair. Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said Salve charged only a nominal amount of Re 1 as his fee.
Her response came after a user on Twitter slammed the government saying that India could have find an equally good lawyer at a cheaper cost.
Sushma Swaraj ✔ @SushmaSwaraj
Not fair. #HarishSalve has charged us Rs.1/- as his fee for this case. https://twitter.com/goyalsanjeev/status/864160971350134784 …
11:10 PM – 15 May 2017
WHO IS SALVE?
Harish Salve, who is son of NKP Salve, a late Congress politician, is among the most expensive lawyers in India and according to media reports, charges up to Rs 30 lakh for a one-day appearance in the Supreme Court of India.
Salve, a former solicitor general of India, who has made his base in London, is a chartered accountant and a commerce and law graduate. He started his career as a chartered accountant but later on moved to the legal profession with his initial professional experience under Nani Palkhivala and Soli Sorabjee, two great legal minds of India.
Salve became a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court in 1992 and the solicitor general of India in 1999.
Some of his most high profile clients include Salman Khan, Mukesh Ambani, Lalit Modi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Amarinder Singh, Parkash Singh Badal, Keshub Mahindra, Vodafone India and even the Delhi Police after its midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev in Delhi in June 2011.
KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE
On April 10, the Pakistan Army chief confirmed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, which was handed down by a Pakistani military court that held Jadhav guilty of espionage. Pakistan claims Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in Pakistan, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistan arrested Jadhav in March 2016.
The Indian government has maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former Indian Naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by Pakistani intelligence. Reports say he was captured by the Taliban and later sold to the Pakistan Army.
India has also said that Jadhav is innocent and there is no evidence against him and that Pakistsan carried out a sham, secret trial in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was given. India has warned Pakistan of ‘dire consequences’ equalling Jadhav’s death sentence with pre-meditated murder and has time and again asked for the consular access to him.
On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty handed down to Jadhav by a Pakistan military court, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 9, the highest court in the UN gave Jadhav a lease of life.
India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. India has denied that he has any connection with the government.