Refuting Aam Aadmi Party charges on keeping politician lawyers as retainers, Reliance Industries today said it had made disclosures on such hirings that are done keeping in mind the legal assistance required and not because they are MPs or MLAs.
“There is no bar against an elected representative to continue his or her practice while being an MP or MLA. Our engagement with lawyers is based on legal assistance required from time to time not the fact that the said lawyer is an MP/MLA,” a RIL spokesperson said.
AAP has demanded dismissal of Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleging that he had not acted against the firm’s telecom arm, Reliance Jio, on the 4G issue because he was its retainer previously. It also said UPA minister Manish Tewari too was its retainer.
Stating that details of its legal engagements are disclosed to the authorities concerned, RIL said, “As is the common practice and legal requirement, when such an MP/MLA has joined as a Minister in the Union Cabinet, the engagement has been discontinued.”
RIL said the Supreme Court has held that “there is no bar against and elected representative to continue his or her practice in spite of the fact that they are drawing salaries as an MP or an MLA”.
“RIL has large and varied demands for legal assistance. We therefore work with various lawyers from time to time for such legal assistance.
“As any major corporation in India, RIL has engaged lawyers who are also practicing politicians. Details have been disclosed to the authorities,” the spokesperson said.
The company said communications with lawyers are privileged and protected by the law.