Kapil Sibal's 'no hope from Supreme Court' jibe stokes controversy
While addressing an event in New Delhi on Friday, Sibal had claimed that a court where the judges are selected through a process of compromise; where the Chief Justice of India decides which matter will be dealt with by which bench and where there is no system to determine which case will be presided over by which bench, can never be independent.
The All India Bar Association has come down hard upon former Law and Justice minister Kapil Sibal, lamenting that he had lost hope in the Indian judiciary. In a statement, the AIBA termed the remark as "contemptuous".
Sibal had claimed that a court where the judges are selected through a process of compromise; where the Chief Justice of India decides which matter will be dealt with by which bench, and where there is no system to determine which case will be presided over by which bench, can never be independent.
Terming the statement as contemptuous and unfortunate coming from someone of the standing of Kapil Sibal, AIBA Chairman Dr Adish C Aggarwala lamented that it had become a trend that when a case is decided against someone, that person takes to social media to denounce judges and allege that the judge is biased or the judicial system has failed.
Sibal made the remarks while speaking at an event organised on Friday by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM).
Sibal openly questioned the Supreme Court's judgment dismissing the plea of Zakia Jafri challenging the SIT's clean chit to state functionaries in the Gujarat riots case. Sibal had appeared on behalf of Zakia in the case. During his speech, he also raised doubts about the verdict in another case in which he had appeared and that was about Apex court upholding provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act which give vast powers to the Enforcement Directorate.
While claiming that he had no hope left in the Supreme Court after practising for 50 years in the institution, Sibal lamented that the ground reality does not change even if a landmark judgment is passed.
The BJP lashed out at the former law minister for his remarks. BJP leader Nalin Kohli termed the remarks most unfortunate, considering they came from a senior lawyer. Another BJP spokesperson, Gaurav Bhatia, said that casting aspersions on the judiciary is unacceptable.
Expressing surprise over the statement, Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said Sibal shouldn't have commented on an institution of which he was a part of. Judgements can be criticised, but institutions shouldn't be denigrated, he said.