Harish Salve is one of the most celebrated lawyers in India and his fame only grew after he appeared in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and brought justice to the Indian citizen imprisoned in Pakistan.
It was today that the news of the appointment of Harish Salve as the Queen’s Counsel went viral. In this blog, we will make you aware of the life and accomplishments of this legendary personality in the legal world and his role as the Queen’s Counsel.
Who Is Harish Salve?
Harish Salve is an Indian senior advocate and has formerly served as the Solicitor General of India. Though people blame him for having a soft corner for BJP, he is the son of a senior Congress leader, Narendra Kumar Salve.
He isn’t a first-generation lawyer as his grandfather, PK Salve was a famous advocate and his great grandfather was a subordinate judge.
He has appeared in some high profile cases. In Niira Radia tapes scandal, Salve represented Ratan Tata in his privacy petition and he appeared on behalf of Salman Khan in the hit and run case.
His most recent accomplishment is his appointment as the Queen’s Counsel.
Who Is A Queen’s Counsel?
Queen’s Counsel is a title awarded to distinguished legal practitioners. Similar to the post of senior advocate, a Queen’s Counsel is also required to wear a distinct uniform which includes a short wing and a silk gown.
Above all other barristers, he has a privilege to sit in the front row during court proceedings. They are required to retain a junior barrister and cannot appear in the court alone, without a junior barrister. They also need to have an office in London.
Queen’s Counsel or the “Silk”, as they are called, are expected to be seasoned advocates, having exceptional knowledge and achievements in one or various fields of law. They are generally not required to appear in cases or file cases, however, they may have to if the need arises.
Since they are experts, they handle very few cases which are legally or factually complex and twisted. They are also required to use their expertise in leading teams of advocates in cases which require their special attention and the presence of a team of advocates. They are paid exuberant fees after their formal appointment.
Due to the high fees and less work to do, the practice was widely criticized. However, the Constitutional monarchy of Britain refused to abolish the practice citing that the title helps maintain quality standards in the legal profession, urging upcoming lawyers to maintain high standards of quality in their work.
Facts about Salve
Salve is a public figure and he became a household name after he represented India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in International Court of Justice, emerging as a hero in a white shirt and black gown.
Here are some lesser-known facts about this exceptional advocate:-
1. Salve is a trained pianist and has keen interest in music
Looking at his fame and expertise, it is difficult to say that he gets a lot of recreational time in his busy schedule, however, he has still managed to keep his love for music and piano alive.
2. Harish Salve is a CA and is specialized in taxation
Salve is a qualified CA and has a keen interest in taxation. He later took up the legal profession because of the inspiration he derived from an eminent tax lawyer, Nani Palkivala.
No wonder he won the Rs. 11,000 crore tax case for Vodafone India.
3. Harish Salve played a vital role in many important and landmark cases
Harish Salve was appointed as the Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) in the Gujarat Riot Case which involved the rape of Bilkis Bano. Apart from this, he played a significant role in the striking down of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act in the Shreya Singhal v. Union of India case.
Maybe these accomplishments drove the British crown to choose him as the Queen’s Counsel.
4. 18th most powerful person in India
Harish Salve was named as the 18th Most Powerful Person in India by India Today in 2009. This is a big accomplishment keeping in mind the non-political and purely legal public character of Mr. Salve.
5. He charges Rs. 15 Lakh per appearance
All eminent lawyers charge huge sums of money on appearance basis and Harish Salve is no exception. According to a report published by India Today in 2017, Harish Salve charges Rs. 15 lakh per appearance and it is alleged that he took a whooping sum of Rs. 15 crore from Mukesh Ambani in the Krishna-Godavari gas dispute.
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