New Delhi, August 24: Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, the legal firm that advised the State government in its bid for Thiruvananthapuram airport, has come out with a clarification that it had not advised the Adani group in the bidding process for the airport.

Responding to The Hindu, one of the partners of the group said there was no question of conflict of interest involved in it offering legal advise to the State government in the airport bid. The clarification came in the wake of the raging controversy that there was a conflict of interest in the group offering legal service to the State government as the daughter of one of the partners of the firm was married to Karan Adani, the son of businessman Gautham Adani.

The firm won the bid for legal advice for the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) through one of its partners in Delhi and professional advise was also rendered to it. The firm never acted for the Adani group in the airport bid, he said.

“There are 130 partners for the firm and each one can accept the brief of the clients unless there is no direct conflict of interest in it. While staffing persons for advising clients, care will be taken to put persons with no personal interests and conflict or interest in it,’’ he said.

“Until the opening of the bid, no one knows who all are in the fray and what will be their quote. The Adani group is just another client and so is the KSIDC. We don’t share the professional secrets of one client to another. The Adani group has its own panel of external and in-house lawyers. No company will generally approach a lawyer before winning the bid and Adani group has not approached us for the Thiruvananthapuram airport bid,” he said.

The firm offered legal review of the bid document of the KSIDC regarding the airport and was not involved in the financial aspects of the KSIDC bid. As a law-abiding firm for over 100 years, the group followed the highest standards of governance and ethics, he said.

The State government, which was planning to raise the banner of protest against the privatisation by mobilising public support and convening an all party meeting to discuss the issue, had found itself in a spot as the news about the reported conflict of interest came out.

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