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'No Hope Left in Supreme Court': Kapil Sibal Slams Recent Judgments, Draws Flak

Taking a dig at even the landmark judgments passed, he said that they hardly ever changed the ground reality.

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India
3 min read
'No Hope Left in Supreme Court': Kapil Sibal Slams Recent Judgments, Draws Flak
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Rajya Sabha MP and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, on Saturday, 6 August, while criticising recent judgments made by the Supreme Court, said that he had "no hope left" in the institution.

"If you think you will get relief from Supreme Court, you are hugely mistaken. And I am saying this after completing 50 years of practising in the Supreme Court," he said at a People's Tribunal jointly organised 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).

Taking a dig at even the landmark judgments passed by the apex court, he said that they hardly ever changed the ground reality.

"Supreme Court gave judgment on privacy and ED officers come to your home… Where is your privacy?" he said.

Meanwhile, the All India Bar Association (AIBA) termed his statements at the event "contemptuous," news agency ANI reported.

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'Sensitive Cases Given to Select Judges'

Further, he slammed the court for assigning sensitive cases to "select judges," thereby ensuring the outcome even before the case is heard.

He was referring to the judgments passed by the court regarding the Zakia Jafari plea in the 2002 Gujarat Riots case, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and the plea seeking independent investigation into alleged incidents of extra-judicial killings of 17 tribals by security forces in Chhattisgarh.

Condemning the verdict of the apex court in all these cases, he said that a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, now retired, had passed all of them.

Sibal had appeared for Zakia Jafri and for petitioners challenging provisions of the PMLA Act.

"…The reality is such that any sensitive matter which we know has a problem is placed before certain judges and we know the outcome," he said.

Proposing a solution, the senior advocate said that the situation would not change unless people changed their mindsets.

"In India, people fall at the feet of the powerful. But the time has come for the people to come out and demand protection of their rights," Sibal said.

"Independence is only possible when we stand up for our own rights and demand that independence," he added.

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'Sibal Speaking for a Small Group of People': Rijiju, Bar Council React

Responding to these remarks, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said that Sibal's statements "were in line with his existing mindset."

"For Congress and like-minded people, Courts/constitutional authorities must favour them or work as per their interest, or else they start attacking constitutional authorities themselves," he said.

"It is sad that prominent leaders and parties are criticising constitutional authorities & agencies. These agencies are absolutely autonomous," Rijiju added.

Further, All India Bar Association chairman Adish Aggarwala, said that contrary to what Sibal had alleged, courts decide on cases by applying the facts presented before them and hold allegiance to the Constitution of India.

"Sibal is an integral part of the justice dispensation system. However, if he actually feels a loss of hope in the institution, then he is free not to appear before the courts," he said.

"If cases haven't been decided to liking of Kapil Sibal, it does not mean that the judicial system has failed," he added.

Echoing his sentiments, senior advocate and Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Jethmalani said that it was Sibal's duty to hold the court in high regard.

"He must be speaking for small group of people who expect SC to give decisions as per them. He's a senior lawyer, I'm surprised he made such remarks. Judgments can be criticised but institutions shouldn't be denigrated," Jethmalani said, according to news agency ANI.

Further, Bar Council of India chairman MK Mishra said that just because Sibal had "lost a few cases, blaming entire judicial system isn't proper."

(With inputs from ANI.)

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Topics:  Supreme Court   Kapil Sibal 

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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