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“I am from a refugee family, not from the elite”: What Presidential candidates said on eve of SCBA elections

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal stressed on the duty of lawyers to stand up for citizens and the Constitution, adding that he recognises lawyers for this role that they play and not their political affiliations.

He underlined that he is not seeking to be elected to the post for money, but to address concerns regarding degradation of the legal profession.

“I came to this Court with no senior back in the day. So those who say I do not understand young people’s problems…By dint of hard work we rose. What is the fundamental duty of a lawyer? We are here to protect the rule of law and the Constitution. It involves that I recognised each one of you, not by your affiliation, political or otherwise, but the black coat that you wear. The black means he will stand up for each citizen and the Constitution, he will stand up before the Court if it does not cherish Constitutional values. We are not here to make money. We do a lot of of pro bono wrork because we know not many will represent the poor and marginalised. I have done that many times. I need this office for what? Money? No. I have come after 21 years because I can see the degradation before my own eyes – how the legal fraternity is being treated and the Registry is not following the law.”

He also reminded the audience about how his family had come to India as refugees during the partition of 1947 – a response to criticisms about him being from an elite background and inaccessible.

“I am from a refugee family, not from the elite and we shall continue to represent those who need a voice. You ask anybody – during my earlier tenures did I ever talk about politics in the courtroom? Never. Because I believe it should be kept outside the courtroom. People say I want you to be accessible. Was I not accessible when I was President three times? Give me examples in the last 50 years that I ever closed the door for any member of the Bar. Did I ever not work for a politician who did not belong to my party? We are here for the country,” Sibal said.

Source: Barandbench

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