Formidable legal eagle Harish Salve, in a momentous development, has been appointed as the Queen’s Counsel for the courts of England and Wales. Harish Salve has served as India’s Solicitor General from 1999 to 2002. Harish Salve is considered an ace legal mind not only within India, but across the globe, and his appointment as the Queen’s Counsel is a testimony to the same.
The title of QC is awarded to those who have demonstrated particular skill and expertise in the conduct of advocacy.
Salve and other appointees will be formally appointed as QC on March 16, where the Lord Chancellor will preside over the appointment ceremony at Westminster Hall. The title is an honorific one, and the individuals who are appointed as QC’s wear silk gowns of a particular design. The appointment as Queen’s Counsel is known informally as taking silk and QCs are often colloquially called silks.
Harish Salve has time and again proved his mettle in the legal battlefield, be it the courts in India, abroad or the International Court of Justice. Salve delivered an outstanding victory for India at the ICJ against Pakistan in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case. Pakistan had sought dismissal of the application by India which demanded a suspension of the death sentence given to Jadhav by Pakistan’s military kangaroo courts. Pakistan’s dismissal plea had been rejected by ICJ. In the verdict thereafter, out of the 16 judge bench, 15 found Pakistan in violation of the Vienna Convention. Hence, the Court had granted India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, which had been denied by Pakistan. In addition to that, the court also ordered a stay on his execution. Notably, while Salve reportedly charges around 30 Lakh rupees for daily appearances in courts on behalf of his clients, in this case, he charged a meagre Re. 1 from the Government of India.
Time and again, Salve has stood up for what is right, and he has never been shy of not obliging to the political correctness/incorrectness binary. Salve has also debunked lies of CAA and NRC being unconstitutional. “This is a narrow-tailored law (CAB) specifically meant to deal with those who are being persecuted by our three Islamic neighbours,” Salve said. He further said that the proposed CAB does not violate Articles 15 and 21 as these provisions of the Indian Constitution are only applicable to those who “live in India, reside in India, not those who want to enter India”. He also said that those arguing that the proposed law violates Article 14 have a completely “misplaced understanding of the Constitution”.Harish Salve had also blasted the Congress and Rahul Gandhi for their failed attempt at getting former CJI Deepak Misra impeached.
Defending the Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370, Salve had said, “I think it is a statutory resolution. So unless parliament asks the President to cancel it, that order will prevail. So the constitution, as we speak, applies. The Article 35A, which was part of the presidential order of 1954, goes away.”
Harish Salve’s appointment as the Queen’s Counsel is in recognition of his stupendous legal services in India and the United Kingdom. It will also be sore in the eyes for some liberals to see Salve being honoured with the post of QC, but again, who gives a damn about what liberals think?