A politician and a lawyer by profession, Kapil Sibal are the Minister of Law and Justice and Minister of Communications and IT in the present Union Government. He was born on 8 August 1948 in Jalandhar, Punjab to parents Hiralal Sibal (Father) and Kailash Rani Sibal (Mother).
He was married to Nina Sibal Sibal in 1973, who died of breast cancer in 2000. He had two sons from his first marriage – Amit Sibal and Akhil Sibal, both lawyers. In 2005, he remarried Promila, a social worker.
His brother Kanwal Sibal has been the former Foreign Secretary of India. After the father became homeless during Partition, his family had to take refuge in India. In 1964, Kapil Sibal moved to Delhi.
After graduating from St. John’s High School in Chandigarh, he graduated in LLB from St. Stephen’s College, affiliated to Delhi University. After that he completed his postgraduate studies in history.
In 1972 he joined the Bar Association. In 1973 Kapil Sibal passed the IAS examination. He was being enlisted as an officer but continued his legal practice while not working.
After this, he got enrolled in LLM for Howard Law School and returned in 1977. In 1983, he was nominated as Senior Advocate and in 1989, he was appointed as Additional Solicitor General of India.
He was the first lawyer to appear in Parliament in 1994, who successfully defended a Supreme Court judge during impeachment proceedings. The said impeachment motion was tabled in the Assembly on 10 May 1993 for debate and voting.
On that day there were 401 members in the Assembly, of which 196 voted in favor of impeachment, with no vote in protest. The ruling Congress and allies abstained from voting. He was the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association three times, 1995–96, 1997–98 and 2001–2002 respectively.
In the 2004 general elections, Sibal won from Chandni Chowk constituency against BJP candidate and TV artiste Smriti Irani and became an MP. He was also included in the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as Union Minister for Science, Technology and Geosciences. For the second time in 2009, he won from Chandni Chowk constituency as a candidate of the Indian National Congress. In 2009, he again became the Minister of Human Resource Development Department, winning elections from Chandni Chowk.
During this time, he announced to give tablets to all the students of all primary schools for Rs. 2300 and Rs. 2900. In 2011, Sibal announced the development of touch screen tablet computers designed to be made in private partnership. Chief Ministers of five states supported OLPC’s initiative.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal considers low-cost tablet PC ‘Akash’ as his dream, which could not be fulfilled.
Kapil Sibal’s name sometimes cropped up on the statement on the 2G spectrum scam, Vodafone tax scandal, internet censorship, homosexuality, owner Agnivesh, sometimes due to connection with journalist Tarun Tejpal.
He also came in a negative light because of his statement about ‘rising inflation due to eating two vegetables’, while at the time of the movement of Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, he was very much discussed.
A compilation of Kapil Sibal’s poems ‘I Witness: Partial Observation’ has been published by Rowley Books New Delhi. His articles focused on many important issues such as security, nuclear non-proliferation and terrorism have also been published in several national dailies and magazines.
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