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Saturday, Jan 19, 2002

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Maharashtra sacks arbitration lawyer in Enron dispute

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MUMBAI, Jan. 18

THE State Government has sacked the Singapore-based lawyer, Mr Quenton Loh, as its arbitrator in the dispute against Enron. According to sources, it has short-listed six candidates to replace Mr Loh.

Mr Loh was found to be an advisor to Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen, the sources said. He was appointed in May to represent Maharashtra in its arbitration with Dabhol Power Company in London.

Earlier, the Government had dismissed Mr Srihari Aney as its counsel from the Enron case as his law firm had merged with Arthur Andersen. It has appointed law firm, Desai, Perriera and Dewan to represent it.

The Enron Virodhi Andolan has accused criminal negligence on the part of all concerned in the Government, including the Chief Minister, in appointing Mr Loh as arbitrator.

Meanwhile, Mr P. Chidambaram, representing DPC, on Friday argued in the High Court that MERC does cannot supersede international arbitration laws and proceedings. Hearing on the case has been adjourned to next Thursday.

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