I have lost faith in the institution, says Kapil Sibal on Supreme Court latest judgements
Highlighting the latest series of judgements delivered by the Supreme Court of India, activists, academicians, civil society members on Saturday came together to condemn the verdict delivered on cases against Teesta Setalvad and Himanshu Kumar.
New Delhi: Highlighting the latest series of judgements delivered by the Supreme Court of India, activists, academicians, civil society members on Saturday came together to condemn the verdict delivered on cases against Teesta Setalvad and Himanshu Kumar. Former Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal on August 6th said that he has lost faith in the Supreme Court.
Speaking at the convention, namely People's Tribunal: Judicial Rollback of Civil Liberties, Sibal expressed his displeasure over the recent series of verdicts delivered by the apex court. The people's tribunal had panelist such as Justices A.P. Shah (former chief justice of the Delhi high court and former chairperson, Law Commission of India), Anjana Prakash (former judge of the Patna high court), Marlepalle (former judge of the Bombay high court) as well as professor Virginius Xaxa (chair of the 2014 High Level Committee to examine the status of STs) and Syeda Hameed (former member of the Planning Commission).
Meanwhile, Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal has said, "Today (August 6) it will be 50 years for me since I've been practicing at the Supreme Court. And after 50 years (of practising law), I feel that I have no faith in this institution… You talk about major judgements given by courts, but the reality on ground is quite different. There is a huge difference as to what the court says and what happens on the ground."
Sibal slammed various, notable judgements passed by the Supreme Court saying that by giving power to the Enforcement Directorate, there is violation of Right to Privacy. He noted that the rules mentioned on the paper may not be obeyed in the same way on ground.
"You have to come down to the streets. And if you think that the Supreme Court will rescue you, then you are sorely mistaken. I am saying this after 50 years of experience," Sibal quipped. He said that the institution, such as the Supreme Court, can be truly independent when there is a change in mentality of the society.
He also took at the Congress-led UPA government's tenure, saying that a Master-Servant culture has existed in every government, even during his tenure as the Union Law Minister.
"If you think that a society with a mindset (of Master-Servant) can be independent then you are mistaken. There can be independence only if we stand for ourselves and we demand to be independent. We are not independent. This is the reality," added.
Differing from the view of Sibal, advocate Prashant Bhushan said that, despite the recent judgements passed by the apex body, he still has faith in the judiciary system. Bushan observed that the tribunal was organised because "the recent judgments by the Supreme Court show that the petitioners are being asked to stand in the dock and are being prosecuted on the orders of the court."
"We expect our government to crack down on us, however, this is the first time that institutions where we have sought justice have done this," Bhushan added.
Adivasi activist turned politician Soni Sori at the convention also questioned the judgment passed against activist Himanshu Kumar, saying, "When the courts break our faith, where does one go?"
The tribunal has been formed by The Committee on Judicial Accountability, along with People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), People's Union of Democratic Rights (PUDR) and the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) to provide a forum for affected citizens to depose in front of a panel of retired judges.