Otis hires new lawyer to get back Gandhi's items | india | Hindustan Times
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Otis hires new lawyer to get back Gandhi's items

india Updated: Mar 17, 2009 09:51 IST

James Otis who claims ownership of Mahatma Gandhi's personal items has appointed a new attorney to represent him.

Otis now wants the five items back which industrialist and liquor baron Vijay Mallya had purchased for USD 1.8 million in the auction and has been in contact with Antiquorum Auctioneers.

His former attorney Ravi Batra, who on Friday had said he was writing to the auctioneers to return the items, has resigned. Batra said that he would contemplate legal action on the basis of response by the auctioneers.

But he issued a statement yesterday, saying he has resigned as Otis' attorney, a job which he had taken on March five. "I have enjoyed assisting James in navigating the legal issues," he said, announcing his resignation.

However, he declined to give reason, citing attorney-client confidentiality. Asked about Batra's resignation, Otis said he is now being represented by Thomas Kissane who will contact the Attorney General's office in New York in an effort to sort out the issue.

The items are still lying with the auctioneers to enable the Justice Department to give a ruling on the legal issues involved as the Delhi High Court had stayed the auction.