General Electric Company was issued notice in this litigation by the Delhi High Court on 7 March 2012. Read this court order at http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=49717&yr=2012
[General Electric Company was respondent 1 in this petition. Its Indian subsidiary GE India Industrial Private Limited was respondent 6 and its Indian subsidiary GE Global Sourcing India Private Limited was respondent 7.
This petition among other relief sought the disqualification and blacklisting of General Electric Company by the Indian Rail Ministry in tenders for the Marhowra and Madhepura locomotive factories and sought investigation and prosecution of the complaints of corruption, fraud, forgery, bribery, FCPA violations, unlawful lobbying and proscribed conflict of interest by General Electric Company, its executives and lawyers in connection with these tenders.]
Nanju Ganpathy, an Indian lawyer from the Law Firm AZB & Partners appeared in Court on 9 May 2012 (see http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=96252&yr=2012 ) claiming to represent General Electric Company. No authority documents or vakalatnama to represent General Electric Company were produced by Nanju Ganpathy.
A Vakalatnama is a specialized form of Power of Attorney filed before Courts in India which is executed by a party in favor of a lawyer authorizing such lawyer to represent and appear for the party in a judicial proceeding. Read the leading judgment of the Supreme Court of India (Uday Shankar Triyar vs Ram Kalewar Prasad Singh & Anr , 2005) setting out how a lawyer cannot represent a party in court without a properly executed vakalatnama supported by adequate authority documents especially in the case of a body corporate.
On 4 July 2012, AZB & Partners filed an affidavit in reply dated 3 July 2012 to the Petition. This affidavit was executed by K R Radhakrishnan who described himself as the authorized signatory of General Electric Company pursuant to what he claimed was a power of attorney executed in his favor. K R Radhakrishnan is the Company Secretary of GE India Industrial Private Limited, a fully owned and Indian registered subsidiary of General Electric Company. No authority documents to represent General Electric Company were produced by K R Radhakrishnan.
On 12 October 2012, at the request of the Petitioner Seema Sapra, the Court directed AZB & Partners to file in Court authority documents to establish whether K R Radhakrishnan was authorized to execute and file court pleadings as authorized signatory for General Electric Company
On 19 October 2012, AZB & Partners filed a copy of a Power of Attorney document dated 4 May 2012 (see images below) and signed by Alexander Dimitrief as authorized signatory of General Electric Company. This Power of Attorney purported to nominate and appoint K R Radhakrishnan as the "Attorney" for General Electric Company for the purpose of defending what the document described as "certain proceedings before the Delhi High Court filed by Ms. Seema Sapra, an Advocate enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi". This document purported to interalia authorize K R Radhakrishnan to engage lawyers to represent General Electric Company in these proceedings and to also sign and execute court pleadings on behalf of General Electric Company in this litigation before the Delhi High Court. This document specifically purported to authorize K R Radhakrishnan to sign Vakalatnamas on behalf of General Electric Company. This Power of Attorney dated 4 May 2012 had a stated validity of one year.
As lawyer Nanju Ganpathy from the law firm AZB & Partners had still not filed in Court any vakalatnama executed in their favor on behalf of General Electric Company, the Petitioner Seema Sapra moved an application before the Court (CM No. 19370 of 2012) pointing out this fact and that the lawyers claiming to represent General Electric Company had no authority document or vakalatnama in their favor.