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Moily as law minister is impossible to judge

Law Minister - Veerappa Moily
Law Minister - Veerappa Moily
Top Indian lawyers are stumped by Veerappa Moily's appointment as Minister of Law and Justice, which was announced late last night defying all observers' expectations.

Moily (pictured) is a seasoned Congress politician and practicing lawyer in Bangalore but unlike the candidates expected to be shoo-ins for the job, he is an unknown quantity.

One top Mumbai lawyer said: "I have no idea what this will do to things."

"It is a real surprise," added another Delhi partner. "Now it's very hard to tell what will happen. I know reforms will be on the agenda but I don't know how quickly. I think there will have to be renewed lobbying."

She said: "All I know of Moily is that he is a senior congress leader, a very old hand, competent but very much a politician. No idea which side his leanings are with respect to reforms."

One managing partner, said simply that no one knows what Moily's appointment will mean.

Legally India reported yesterday that India National Congress member Kapil Sibal and Harvard LLM and former Science minister Salman Khursheed were hot favourites for the post.

Online commenters to the story also put their money on the front-runners, after former Law and Justice Minister HR Bhardwaj was unexpectedly dropped from the cabinet.

The Press Trust of India has written a profile of Moily, calling him a "multifaceted personality -- a lawyer, a writer, a politician and one deeply involved in the study of good governance".

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