Amit Desai is a senior Indian advocate working at the High Court of Bombay, India. He is well-known for handling the case of the famous Indian actor Salman Khan’s 2002 hit-and-run case.
Amit Desai did a Bachelor of Commerce, and after that, he wanted to pursue an MBA. His parents advised him to make his career in legal practices, so he pursued LLB from a Government Law College. Patrika Crunch Base
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
His grandfather was a lawyer, and his father was a senior counsel.
In the initial years of his career as a lawyer, he worked with many senior Indian lawyers like Bhai Rege, Dilip Udeshi, and Ashok Modi. He joined the Bar Council of India in 1982. The major practise areas of Desai are:
- • White-collar crime
- • Banking and Commercial Fraud
- • Economic and regulatory offences
- • Corruption and Anti-Bribery Matters
- • Extradition
- • Capital Markets
- • Company Law
- • Taxation and Currency Regulation cases
- • Negligence cases (Medical, Industrial and Road)
Bhopal Gas Tragedy Case (1984)
Amit Desai was appointed as the advocate of the then non-executive chairman of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) Keshub Mahindra who was one of the accused in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1984.
Bofors Imbroglio (1980s-1990s) and Securities
In 1992, he defended the Indian stockbroker Harshad Mehta, Bhupen Dalal, and other convicts. Desai was also the advisor of Harshad Mehta in the case.
Assisted Former Attorney General of India K Parasaran
From 2012 to 2018, during the tenure of the then Attorney General of India, K Parasaran, Amit Desai got the opportunity to assist him in the LIC versus Escorts case. In an interview, he talked about his experience while working with K Parasaran, he said,
Sitting in the last row behind numerous counsels, solicitors and client representatives, I watched Mr. Parasaran in action. The proposition of laws on commercial laws, corporate laws, foreign exchange laws, administrative laws, constitutional principles etc. kept leaping out of this intellectual giant, which meant 2-4 sleepless nights in a row for all of us.”
Represented Jayalalithaa (2014)
He handled the income tax case of -the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala in 2014.
Maggi Ban Case (2015)
He was also the advocate of Nestle India in the Maggi noodles ban case in 2015. At that time, the stocks of Maggi noodles was immediately removed from the market, and later, Maggie noodles were relaunched in the market.
Salman Khan’s Hit-and-Run Case
Amit Desai became a popular name among the public in 2015 when he successfully got the bail for Salman Khan in the famous hit and run case. Even after Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in jail, Desai challenged the judgement, and with a fine of Rs. 30,000, he got Salman the bail.
Money Laundering Case of Vijay Mallya
In 2018, he was appointed by the Indian businessman Vijay Mallya in the famous money laundering case. While talking to the reporters, in Mallya’s defence, Amit Desai said,
He (Vijay Mallya) left the country even before the warrant against him was issued. He did not leave the country to avoid criminal prosecution. He has the fundamental right to leave the country by the right of movement under the Constitution.”
Aryan Khan Drug Case (2021)
In 2021, he was appointed by the famous Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan in the drug case of his son Aryan Khan. Earlier, the case was handled by the famous Indian advocate Satish Maneshinde, but when he failed to get Aryan Khan bailed, the case was shifted to Amit Desai. As per the reports, in the court, while defending Aryan Khan, Desai said,
The man is already inside the prison for a week. Bail hearing does not have to depend on investigation. I am not arguing bail, I am only arguing for a date.”
While talking to the reporters, Amit Desai said,
We are completely relying on the court. Justice shall prevail. There were no drugs found with Aryan Khan. NCB is trying to defend his bail pleas. So we may hear the plea tomorrow. My client’s liberty is at stake now.”
Apart from this, he has been appointed as a special counsel and special public prosecutor of Maharashtra. Amit Desai has also handled the cases of Indian, multinational & foreign corporates, PE investors, and business houses. Desai has been invited as the guest speaker at several events for Direct Taxes Regional Training Institute, Business Law speaker at the International Bar Association, and Anti Corruption Compliance Sessions at ‘The Indian Story in Global Mergers and Acquisitions.’
- He loves to spend time with his family and friends. One of his favourite hobbies is reading books. In an interview, while talking about it, he said,
My pick on books has a wide range. When I am stressed, I read Jeffrey Archer, a couple of years ago, I was reading Digital Age written by Eric Schmidt, where he sees the world with digitisation and the impact of digitisation across countries and what it means for governments.”
He further added,
I generally prefer reading books on any subject, as long as the style of writing is good. It could be about important people, their lives and also books on innovations and their impact on society. Though books on historical events are more preferable to books on management. Also, on a relatability basis, I prefer books on legal history and books written by people from the legal community.”