MJ Akbar has become a household name for all the wrong reasons. The Minister of State for External Affairs' name has been popping up on social media, time and again, in the ongoing #MeToo movement. The latest news that is doing the rounds is that Akbar will be represented by 97 lawyers in the case against Priya Ramani; the first journalist to accuse Akbar. Karanjawala & Co is the law firm that will be representing Akbar in court.
Netizens are enraged at the number of lawyers that back MJ Akbar. Micro-blogging site Twitter is aghast as it seems like a tactic to silence Ramani and the others. At first glance, the number does sound outlandish. However, we're here to tell you that Akbar will not be represented by all 97 lawyers mentioned in the Vakalatnama.
News18 reported that Karanjawala & Co called the mention of the 97 advocates in the Vakalatnama as a "standard practice". They also stated that only six are meant to appear in the court on behalf of Mobashar Jawed Akbar. Those six lawyers have signed the Vakalatnama. The firm currently employs a 100 lawyers, and the reason 97 names are mentioned is in the case of a long-term court case. These 97 lawyers will neither be present in court nor will be representing him all at once. In the case of the core lawyers resigning or being on vacation during the court date, some of the other 97 will step up to the plate.
“Our firm has 100 lawyers. We usually have all the names printed in one Vakalatnama with only the ones who will appear in the case signing it. Our criminal team has six members and only those six will appear in this case. Only they have signed the Vakalatnama,” a spokesperson of Karanjawala & Co was quoted by News18.