Kapil Sibal© HelloIndia

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Kapil Sibal

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Noor Anand Chawla

Why he matters: As one of the leading constitutional experts in the country, this advocate needs no introduction. However, it’s his unerring judgement and judicious acts of philanthropy that make him a true leader.

In his long and illustrious career as a lawyer, Kapil Sibal is one of few legal eagles to have become a household name for the right reasons. Inspired by his father Hira Lal Sibal’s incredible legacy, Sibal forsook a career in academics and a seat at the prestigious Indian Administrative Services (IAS) for law, even obtaining a master’s degree from Harvard Law School in the 1970s, at a time when it was entirely unheard of.

In his role as a multi-portfolio minister for the Indian National Congress in the early 2000s, Sibal became the intellectual representative of the government, often being called upon to eloquently defend them in the eyes of the media.

A master orator, sound administrator, published writer and poet, he’s also known to be a crusader for tough causes. He famously argued on behalf of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board in the landmark judgement on triple talaq. Most recently, he represented the wrestlers fighting against sexual harassment in their field, pro bono.

In an interview to Gulf News, he said, “It’s the duty of a lawyer, much like that of a doctor, to help people who are victims of injustice and are not in a position for several reasons, including absence of means, to defend themselves. The legal profession is not to be seen as a business, but as a vehicle of service to the community. This is how I look at my role in the profession.”

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!