Arguing that there was a huge gap in the judgments of the Supreme Court and the reality on the ground, senior advocate and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal has said that he has “no hope left in the Supreme Court”.
Addressing an event in New Delhi on August 6, Sibal was critical of the Supreme Court’s judgment dismissing the Zakia Jafri’s plea challenging the SIT’s clean chit to state functionaries in the Gujarat riots as well as the verdict upholding the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act which give wide-ranging powers to the Enforcement Directorate.
“After practising for 50 years in the Supreme Court of India, I have no hope left in the institution,” Sibal said, adding that even if a landmark judgment is passed, the ground reality remains the same.
Sibal’s remarks have drawn widespread criticism with lawyers and the Bar Council condemning his remarks. “I don’t think such a statement can be appreciated by anyone. He was practicing law for a long time and the court gave him so much respect. Now at this stage when he has lost a few cases, blaming the entire judicial system isn’t proper,” MK Mishra, Chairman, Bar Council of India, said,
The All India Bar Association also came down heavily on Sibal for his remarks. “Kapil Sibal lamenting that he has lost hope in the Indian judiciary is contemptuous. Court decides cases by applying facts presented before them, they hold allegiance to the constitution of India. He’s a senior and seasoned advocate,” said Adish Aggarwala, Chairman, All India Bar Association.
Senior advocate and Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Jethmalani said one can have ideological differences, but it is the duty of a lawyer and parliamentarian to hold the institution in high esteem.
“He must be speaking for a small group of people who expect the Supreme Court 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,” he said.