Kapil Sibal: The Return of the King? | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Kapil Sibal: The Return of the King? – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

Blog

Kapil Sibal: The Return of the King?

Published

on

Sibal

Spotting Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal in the morning flight to Kochi from Delhi, the first thought that would have crossed the mind of any presumptuous Malayali would be that of another busy lawyer using the Diwali vacation to frolic on the beaches of Kovalam and Varkala.

 

I have to admit that his black and white attire did escape my attention; but it was not long before I caught sight of other black bats around him giving away the purpose of his visit – the Kerala High Court. I later learnt from twitter that he was being flown in by the State government to defend the Vigilance Department in a desperate attempt to save the State Finance Minister – KM Mani.

Mani’s choice was hardly surprising; Sibal has been the “go to” lawyer for close to two decades. Way back March 31, 1997 this is what India Today had to say about him:

Kapil SIbal in the India Today article

Kapil SIbal in the India Today article

“At 49, Kapil Sibal has moved into the hallowed list of ‘top seniors’, a stratospheric perch where lawyers command between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh per appearance, and clients thank their stars if their briefs are accepted.”

Kapil Sibal is perhaps the most multi-faceted lawyer in the history of independent India. Lawyer, government law officer, parliamentarian, party spokesperson, Cabinet Minister, a poet and last but not the least, an actor par excellence.

Born in 1948 in a refugee camp in Jalandhar, Sibal graduated from St. Stephens, Delhi, where he acquired a reputation in theatrics leading to the name – Kapilious Sibalious. His acting skills would later play a very big role in his rise to prominence at the Bar.

He followed his wife Nina Sibal to USA and completed his Masters from Harvard. He then worked in a law firm in USA – Cole & Deitz – before returning to India to set up his practice here (a pattern his son Amit Sibal would also follow). Sibal the lawyer first came into prominence when he secured a victory for Mohiuddin Malik, the expelled speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly. A Senior Advocate termed it the birth of a North Indian star – signalling the end of monopoly enjoyed by Bombay and Madras lawyers in Supreme Court.

Senior Advocate designation in 1983 by the Delhi High Court, a number of high profile cases, and a short stint as Additional Solicitor General during the tenure of VP Singh government made him a known face in the Delhi legal circle.

But it was the impeachment proceedings against Justice V Ramaswami in 1993 that shot Sibal into limelight. Representing Ramaswami, Sibal became the first non-parliamentarian to address both the house of the Parliament. Subsequently, his standing as a lawyer shot up.

As India Today puts it,

“Three years ago, Sibal set a new landmark when he defended his client, Justice Ramaswamy, successfully against impeachment on the floor of Parliament.

Sibal, though respected for years as a lawyer endowed with an exemplary persuasive skill, could enter the super league only in the ’90s, after that dazzling performance as Ramaswami’s defender.”

There was no looking back.

In 1996, he contested the Lok Sabha elections for the first time without success. However, by the end of the decade, Sibal had cemented himself as a politician too and aside from his Rajya Sabha tenure, he also served as spokesperson for Congress party. Eventually, it culminated in his election to the Lok Sabha in 2004 and his long hiatus from law.

Ministerial positions in both the 2004 and 2009 Congress led UPA governments saw the complete transition of Sibal from a lawyer to a politician. With great power comes great responsibility and it was no different for Sibal. He virtually became the face of Congress party in the second half of the 2009 term when the government was rocked by scam after scam. However, the low point of his ministerial tenure also came during that time when he allegedly tried to usher in internet censorship culminating in popular sentiment against the ruling dispensation.

He had once said that law is his profession while politics is his passion. And it was not long before the “profession” beckoned him once again. After a heavy loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sibal, at 66, donned the gown once again. After a decade of absence from the Bar, his re-entry, however, was not into any “hallowed list”, but into a class apart.

This exclusionist one-man group is unarguably the most sought after lawyer today, thanks in part to many of his contemporaries choosing to serve the new government as law officers and absence of certain others from the Bar and the country. He is also, arguably, one of the most expensive lawyers in the country.

Since his return to practice in mid – 2014, Sibal has made his way to the pinnacle of the profession. Running from one courtroom to another on miscellaneous days, he has replaced the current Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi in that avatar.

With some of the most prolific corporate clients in his kitty, Sibal is giving another Senior Advocate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi a run for money. The Sahara Group, Jindal Steel, Sun TV and N Srinivasan are a few in that list. However, defending politicians, especially those from the Congress party, sets him apart from other lawyers who restrict themselves either to corporate cases involving big stakes or to Constitutionally relevant cases.

Manmohan Singh, Digvijay Singh, Teesta Setalvad, Hardik Patel are a few examples of those who have gone to Sibal for their cases in the Supreme Court.

The crammed schedule has, however, come with its share of ups and downs including a number of confrontations with the Bench. While Justice Khehar, refused outright to accommodate him when he sought permission for attending another case, Justice Dipak Misra recently adjourned a case because Sibal left midway during the arguments. Both the judges were very critical of Sibal’s conduct on those occasions.

Whether Sibal can be counted as a successful politician or not is for political pundits to decide. However, his exploits in court has left him the undisputed king among his peers. Whether this comeback to the Bar is a permanent one or not, only time will tell.

 

Blog

Covid-19 corollaries on the dairy sector: CRISIL

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Published

on

dairy industry

New Delhi, May 26 : Supply chain disruptions in the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, and bread-and-butter issues for hotels, restaurants and cafes, have materially reduced demand for dairy products.

This is despite supply of most dairy products continuing during the lockdown, since they are categorised as essentials.

The shuttering of hotels and dine-ins has also dried up off-take of skimmed milk powder and khoya.

According to report by CRISIL Research on the state of dairy industry and supply chains, products that can’t be made at home easily – such as cheese, flavoured milk and also khoya – haven’t found their way back to the dining table in the same quantities as before the lockdown.

Demand for ice creams, which usually peaks in summer (accounting for 40 per cent of annual sales) has just melted away. Rural areas, which are feeling the income pinch more, seem to be staying off butter and ghee, the report by global analytics firm has said.

To be sure, since the third week of April, supply chains have turned smoother, so demand for staples such as milk, curd, paneer and yogurt are expected to see a quick rebound, leading to on-year expansion in sales, CRISIL said.

The pandemic, however, may sour the business for unorganised dairies because of pervasive contamination fears.

Conversely, as consumers shift, revenues of organised dairies and packaged products should fatten.

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Large brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy had already hiked retail milk prices by 4-5 per cent last fiscal. They may not serve an encore.

Continue Reading

Blog

445 people died from Australia bushfires smoke: Experts

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

Published

on

By

Arogya Setu App

Canberra, May 26 : Smoke from Australia’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires killed at least 445 people, health experts revealed on Tuesday.

Fay Johnston, a public health expert from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, told the bushfire royal commission on Tuesday that her team estimated that 445 people died as a result of the smoke that blanketed much of the nation’s east coast, reports Xinhua news agency.

It takes the total death toll from the 2019-2020 bushfire season, which has been dubbed the “Black Summer”, to nearly 480 after 34 people lost their lives directly.

According to modelling produced by Johnston and her colleagues, 80 per cent of Australians were affected by the smoke at some point, including 3,340 people who were hospitalized with heart and lung problems.

“We were able to work out a yearly cost of bushfire smoke for each summer season and… our estimates for the last season were A$2 billion in health costs,” Johnston said.

“There’s fluctuation year to year, of course, but that was a major departure from anything we had seen in the previous 20 years.”

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

Commissioners also heard on Tuesday that the increasing frequency of significant bushfire events in Australia meant that survivors no longer feel safe during the recovery phase.

“Disasters are no longer perceived as rare events, they are often seen as climate change, and they’re part of our new reality,” Lisa Gibbs, a child welfare expert from the University of Melbourne, said.

“We don’t know how that is going to affect recovery because the seeds of hope are a really important part of people’s ability to deal with what has happened and to get back on track.”

Continue Reading

Blog

Rising urbanization likely cause of heavy rainfall in South: Research

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Published

on

By

IMD heavy rains predict

Hyderabad, May 26 : A team of researchers at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have discovered a link between heavy rainfall in several parts of south India and a growing urbanisation in the region.

A team led by Prof. Karumuri Ashok from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad, examined whether a common factor, the changing ‘land use land cover’ (LULC) in these states, has any implications for the heavy rainfall events.

Over the past few years, many heavy rainfall events have been reported in cities of south India. Prominent among them are the extreme rainfall that created havoc in Chennai and nearby areas of Tamil Nadu in December 2015, the heavy rainfall over Hyderabad and adjoining regions in Telangana in September 2016, and the extreme rainfall event in Kerala in August 2018.

Notably, these three states differ in their geographical locations, and also the season in which they receive rainfall. Kerala, located on the southwest Indian coast off the Arabian Sea receives heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon from June-September.

Tamil Nadu, off the Bay of Bengal, receives rainfall mainly during the northeast monsoon (October-December). The land-locked state Telangana receives the bulk of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoon season.

A UoH statement stated that their study showed the precipitation during heavy rainfall events in these states has significantly increased from 2000 to 2017. Using the LULC data from ISRO, and by conducting 2 km resolution simulation experiments of twelve heavy rainfall events over the states, the researchers found distinct LULC changes in these three states, which led to higher surface temperatures and a deeper and moist boundary layer. These in turn caused a relatively higher convective available potential energy and, consequently, heavier rainfall.

The study also suggests that increasing urbanization in Telangana and Tamil Nadu is likely to enhance the rainfall during the heavy rainfall events by 20%-25%. Prof. Ashok feels that improving the density of observational rainfall and other weather parameters may help in forecasting extreme rainfalls at city level.

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Prof. K. Ashok and his Ph.D. student Mr. A. Boyaj who is the first author, are both from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad. The work was done in collaboration with Prof. Ibrahim Hoteit and Dr Hari Prasad Dasari of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

Continue Reading

Most Popular