Birlas rope in leading lawyers

KOLKATA, JULY 24. With the first round of shots in the battle over the fortunes of the M. P. Birla group already having been fired, both sides are now busy finalising what looks like an impressive line-up of legal luminaries in the country to represent them. For the Birla clan, who have stated that they do not want a paisa out of the Rs. 5,000 crore assets but would like to have it passed onto charity, there are quite a few names that are doing the rounds. These include Fali Nariman, former solicitor general, senior Supreme Court Counsel, Harish Salve, K. Parasaran, Arun Jaitley, Kriti Rawal and Dipankar Gupta. Goolam E. Vahanabati who is tipped to become the next Solicitor General, Supreme Court, is also on the side of the Birlas. This list was confirmed by an official spokesperson of the family.

On the side of the Lodhas, the barristers and the advocates whose names are in circulation are: Samaraditya Pal, Saktinath Mukherjee, Anindya Mitra, and Pratap Chatterjee. "They are civil suit specialists practising in the Calcutta High Court," a High Court source said. Yet another name has been thrown up in what is turning out to be one of the country's most keenly watched legal battles. This is the name of S. Gurumurthy.

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