This Article is From Nov 02, 2023

Kapil Sibal Unwell, Chief Justice Pauses Hearing, Offers Help

During a hearing on the electoral bonds issue, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said Mr Sibal could use the Supreme Court conference room and join via video link.

Kapil Sibal Unwell, Chief Justice Pauses Hearing, Offers Help

A similar offer was made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

New Delhi:

The often acrimonious hearings on the electoral bonds issue saw both Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta putting everything aside for a few minutes and focusing on the well-being of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was feeling unwell. 

On the third day of the hearings on Thursday, Mr Mehta, who was arguing for the Centre before the constitution bench headed by Justice Chandrachud paused, turned around and wondered where Mr Sibal was. Mr Mehta was told something by the team of Mr Sibal, who is appearing on behalf of the petitioners, and when Justice Chandrachud asked him what had happened, he said it was something personal and not connected to the hearing.

The hearing resumed and Mr Sibal walked into the courtroom a little later. That's when Mr Mehta told the court that Mr Sibal was not feeling well, and offered the use of his chambers to the senior advocate so that he could join the hearing through video conferencing. He said he would also ensure that tea and some snacks would be arranged for Mr Sibal.

The Chief Justice also stepped in and said Mr Sibal could sit in the Supreme Court conference room and join through a video link. The senior advocate decided to take up Justice Chandrachud on the offer and joined the hearing from the conference room until lunch.

Political Ties

Mr Sibal returned to the courtroom after lunch and both Mr Mehta and he were back to their professional, feisty avatars. The latter part of the day's hearing, in fact, saw an interesting exchange between the two lawyers over political ties. 

Speaking hypothetically, Mr Mehta said that a person donating to the Congress would not want the BJP to know about it. 

"As an example, if it is convenient for Mr Sibal, suppose that, as a contractor, I donate to the Congress party. I wouldn't want the BJP to know because it could form a government in the coming days," Mr Mehta said.

Mr Sibal intervened and said, "It seems that my learned friend has forgotten that I am no longer a member of the Congress party."

The Solicitor General then said that Mr Sibal had appeared on behalf of a Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh in the court. Mr Sibal immediately retorted that while Mr Mehta was representing the government, he was not necessarily a member of the BJP.

Mr Mehta replied, "Absolutely not" and Mr Sibal said, "So I am not either".