Top Law Firm behind the ‘Poor’, Five Prasad Sisters
The five Prasad sisters would like that everyone should blindly believe that they are ‘poor’, helpless victims of harassment, including that of a sexual nature, while the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust and its members are their evil and unjust tormentors. Without going into the merits of their case, there are several pointers that indicate that the five Prasad sisters might not be such ‘poor’ and helpless victims after all. On the contrary, their actions against the Ashram show that they are the relentless aggressors who are out to go to any extent and at any costs to repeatedly create trouble and harm to the Ashram, because they failed to have it their way.
The recent order passed by the Supreme Court which we have downloaded from the internet reveals that the five ‘poor’ Prasad sisters are rather surprisingly in the position to hire none other than the country’s topmost law firm to represent them in the Supreme Court. Suresh A Shroff & Co of the law firm ‘Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co‘ is the legal counsel for the ‘poor’ five Prasad sisters. It so happens that these ‘poor’ sisters are now in the company of equally ‘poor’ multinational corporations which include Vedanta Resources, Reliance Industries, GMR Group and Morgan Stanley all of which are clients of the same law firm. The ‘poor’, helpless, Prasad sisters, it would seem have what it requires to engage the country’s topmost and therefore most expensive law firm to try to establish, by using some loophole or the other, that the Ashram is at fault; very much like the largest and most greedy corporations hire the topmost law firms that have the maximum muscle and wherewithal to ‘use’ the law and its many loopholes to maximize and bloat their profits, at any costs, even if it results in injustice.
Is it a wonder then that the five Prasad sisters have earned great sympathy from the likes of Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and a host of other anti-Ashram elements who also seem to have all the necessary resources to keep unleashing a barrage of attacks against the Ashram with the hope of finding one loose chink in the armor that has forever been guarding the Ashram against all hostile attacks from its very beginning? What is even more striking is that these hostile elements not only drag the Ashram to the courts for disputes that are purely personal and frivolous, but having taken the Ashram to court they subsequently also accuse it of wasting its money on court cases in which the Ashram finds itself compelled to fight against the country’s top law firms! Such ludicrous propositions can only originate from this bunch of pathetic, chronic and trouble-making perverts.
But unlike the “poor” five sisters who are represented by the topmost law firm of Suresh A Shroff & Co., the Ashram however appears to be satisfied by the modest, humble yet honest and sincere services of a lawyer who is known for his keen commitment towards justice and fairness, for which he lands up working pro-bono most of the time. This is the senior Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Parikh who is known to represent the true victims of our present-day, unjust society. His clients include the underprivileged and marginalized forest-dwellers of the famous, pristine and sacred Niyamgiri hills who are fighting corporate giants such as Vedanta Resources (also represented by Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co!) to protect and safeguard their livelihoods which are dependent on the environment that they also wish to save. Mr. Sanjay Parikh has also made significant legal contributions in several other socially important areas ranging from fighting criminality, toxic pollution and the unscientific policies pertaining to the indiscriminate use of genetically modified organisms that are promoted by greedy, unscrupulous corporations. In other words, injustice of any kind appears to motivate Mr. Sanjay Parikh to seek justice, even if at the end of the day he may not be remunerated. This is the person who also represents the Ashram in the Supreme Court of India.
To be fair to the firm ‘Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co’ they proudly list out the services that they have offered pro-bono, presumably as an act of corporate social responsibility. The firm states that “one of the firm’s proudest pro bono achievements of 2013 was providing expert consultation to the Justice Verma Committee, which was appointed to recommend amendments to the criminal laws on rape. At least 70 of the firm’s lawyers dedicated more than 40 hours to studying the existing law and suggesting changes. The firm submitted an 80-plus page report to the Justice Verma Committee and some of the suggestions were integrated in the final recommendation of the committee…” Significantly, the firm also states that “it has recently begun setting up a committee to ensure prevention and redress of sexual harassment, as required under the new Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013. In addition, the senior management team has initiated consultations to seek input from employees on how best to guarantee women’s safety and avoid sexual harassment.” One may give the firm the benefit of doubt for their charitable intentions despite the fact that their choice to take up the case of the five Prasad sisters seems to strike a discordant note with their stated objectives.
Whether the five Prasad sisters are receiving pro-bono services from ‘Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co’ or not, the case of these five, trouble-making sisters must be certainly taking its toll, both on the sisters as well as their famous law firm. The Supreme Court’s recent order to the five Prasad sisters to not only pack up and go, but to be sternly warned to go quietly without making more trouble than they already have, is casting a shadow and many doubts on the bona fide of the five sisters and their counsel. How is it that in a socially charged climate that is extremely sensitive to issues of sexual harassment, can the country’s topmost law firm loose a case in which five women, the five Prasad siblings, allege to have been harassed, even sexually, for more than a decade?!!
Many more questions beckon, some of which are:
Did the counsel of the five Prasad sisters from ‘Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co’ fail in their homework?
If the firm ‘Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co’ are seriously committed to ensuring prevention and redress of sexual harassment (other than paying lip service to a cause that has become fashionable among the middle-class to whom they cater) and are ready to offer pro-bono services towards such a cause, why should they pick up a case that is rife with dubious antecedents? One may recall that the National Commission for Women and other authorities had already found the charges leveled by the five Prasad sisters to be false.
Or do the five Prasad sisters or their interested sponsor(s) have pockets that are deep enough, as well as interests in the Ashram’s affairs that are high enough, to attempt any legal victory against the Ashram even by using a case that is as weak as the one of the five sisters, in the absence of any other charges that could be levelled against the Ashram?
– Well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram –