Picture credit: AP
Picture credit: AP

General News

How India Replaced Harish Salve With Pak Lawyer And Paid Rs 1400 Crore To Settle The Dabhol Case

Written By Suhas Yellapantula | Mumbai | Published:

In part-1 of #RepublicExposesEnronScandal, it was revealed how, in 2004, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government hired a Pakistani-origin lawyer, at 300 pounds per hour, to fight the controversial Enron case. He replaced India’s top legal eagle Harish Salve in the case.

Confirming to Republic TV that he was indeed replaced, Harish Salve said,  “I thought we had a pretty good defence. But again, I am talking about 2002-04. So, I thought it was a pretty good case. But, memory fades and then there was change of lawyer, then I have absolutely no idea of what happened.”

"I mean a lawyer is the choice of the client. They wanted somebody they got somebody. Why they got, how they got, whom selected, whom is the matter of........I don't honestly know. As far as we were concerned, we were out of it and that was the end of it. By God's kindness I have never had [inaudible] bothered to find out what happened,"he added.

In part-2 of the #RepublicExposesEnronScandal, documents accessed  by Republic TV revealed how India paid a staggering amount of Rs 1400 crore in three tranches to settle the case.

Back in 2004, US multinational giants General Electric and Bechtel bought Enron's 65 per cent stake in the controversial Dabhol Power Company.  While the cap fixed was at $300 million, the settlement reached was of $305 million dollars. The Indian Government paid Bechtel $160 million and paid GE $145 million. These large sums of payment made by the UPA allowed US companies to become rich at the cost of the Indian farmers.

The farmers, who were promised employment and compensation for losing their land in the Dabhol debacle, are yet to get their due. More than 700 families continue to be affected.