Sunday, April 17, 2016

Did Kian Ganz actually write this article on Goolam Vahanvati for Outlook Magazine or did he just lend his name?

I have been intrigued for some time by an article on former Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati published by Outlook Magazine and attributed to Kian Ganz who runs http://www.legallyindia.com/

The article titled "The Company He Keeps: Vahanvati is to the govt what a good corporate lawyer is to his client: published at http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/the-company-he-keeps/288474 was a part of a group of articles in that issue of Outlook Magazine. While all the other articles were extremely critical of Vahanvati, the Kian Ganz article was nuanced and sought to portray Vahanvati in a positive light. 

I have been following Kian Ganz's writings on Legally India and Mint for some time and re-reading this article, what struck me was that this Vahanvati article did not resemble the style and idiom of writing in the other articles published by German national Kian Ganz. The English in the Vahanvati article is too dense, and frankly more compacted and more rich than the language that Kian Ganz uses. 

Kian Ganz is a former Clifford Chance lawyer. He now runs Legally India, a legal market news website and is funded by Clifford Chance interested in entering the Indian legal market space. Clifford Chance had a tie-up with AZB & Partners headed by Zia Mody and Behram Vakil. Both Zia Mody (daughter of Soli J. Sorabjee, another former Attorney General) and Behram Vakil have close links to Vahanvati which include the Enron/ General Electric - Dabhol Power Plant litigation. Vahanvati's son was until recently part of AZB & Partners. Kian Ganz has close ties and access to AZB & Zia Mody due to Legally India. 

I have always thought that the Kian Ganz article on Vahanvati was specially commissioned to present a positive opinion on Vahanvati among the more prevalent criticism that Vahanvati faced in his years as the Attorney General. 

Upon re-reading the article by Kian Ganz, I am almost convinced that this piece was not written by Kian Ganz but was authored by a person or persons within the Vahanvati circle of Zia Mody etc., and that Kian Ganz was merely used as the author to present it as a neutral piece by a journalist. 

Not only does the writing style of the article not match that of Kian Ganz, but the depth of knowledge and understanding of the environment and world of Ghulam Vahanvati and the Indian legal and judicial ecosystem that the article displays is something that I have never before seen in any other writing by Kian Ganz. Ganz being a foreigner to India, has never displayed a deep understanding of the Indian political, judicial and legal ecosystem. His writings are always superficial on these aspects. Ganz is more of a reporter of law firm deal news and law firm lawyer moves. He is not an analyst or critical commentator on the Indian judicial system and until his more recent move to Delhi from Mumbai, his exposure to the Indian Courts was non-existent. So for Ganz to have written this piece in 2013 before he even moved to Delhi and gained his still minimal familiarity with the Supreme Court of India is not something that I am ready to buy. 

Something is fishy. 

Go ahead, google other writings by Kian Ganz and show me a single piece that resembles the style of the Vahanvati piece, You will not find it.  

Read other opinions on Goolam Vahanvati

Unfit to hold the post of Attorney General

A Bullet Hanging In The Air

‘The A-G Is Very Smart; He’s Also Socially Active And Smooth’

Who Is This Man Firing The Gun For?

Goolam Vahanvati: Attorney general or mob lawyer?

Inside Man: The convenient opinions of Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati  

The real face of Attorney General

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