The case of Kulbhushan Jadhav has been causing a furore across both India and Pakistan over the past few weeks. Jadhav, who was running a business in Iran, was accused of being a spy by Pakistan, and was recently sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. Fighting in Jadhav’s corner is senior advocate Harish Salve, who has been arguing the case in favour of Jadhav at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands. Salve is one of the most expensive lawyers in the world. However, it was recently brought to light by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that he has been charging only Re. 1 for fighting Jadhav’s case.
Swaraj recently revealed this fact in response to a tweet made by Sanjeev Goyal, who said that India could have got as good a lawyer as 61-year-old Salve at a much lower fee.
— #Intolerant भारतीय (@goyalsanjeev) May 15, 2017
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) May 15, 2017
It was last week that India approached the international court to challenge the death sentence given to Jadhav. This move is a first in the last 45 years. India felt that it was necessary given that it was a matter of life or death for an Indian citizen. According to NDTV, Salve said,
The basic rights of Jadhav were thrown to the winds. The situation is grave, it is urgent, and hence, we approached this court at such short notice.
Salve highlighted how the trial in Pakistan was unjust, stating that the verdict was given without a shred of evidence. Abducted from Iran, Jadhav was denied consular access sixteen times, and was given a lawyer just before the trial was to end.
Harish Salve, who is one of the most reputed advocates in the country, was also a Solicitor General of India between the years 1999 and 2002. He was born in the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra in 1956. He did his graduation in commerce, and later became a chartered accountant. According to Dainik Bhaskar, he was then inspired by Indian lawmaker and economist Nanabhoy Palkhivala to become a lawyer. He began his legal career in the year 1980, and went on to fight many high profile cases. Salve had earlier fought on the behalf of Mukesh Ambani in the Krishna Godavari gas basin case between the Ambani brothers. Apart from Ambani, Salve has also fought for other high profile clients like ITC Limited, the Tata Group, and the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Harish is one of the most reputed and expensive lawyers in the world. His noble gesture in taking up this case at a negligible fee to ensure that the life of an Indian citizen is saved therefore definitely deserves a salute.