Kapil Sibal
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
4 July 2022
Preceded byRewati Raman Singh, SP
ConstituencyUttar Pradesh[1]
In office
5 July 2016 – 25 May 2022
Preceded bySatish Sharma, INC
ConstituencyUttar Pradesh[1]
Minister of Communications and Information Technology
In office
19 January 2011 – 26 May 2014
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byManmohan Singh
Succeeded byRavi Shankar Prasad
Minister of Human Resource Development
In office
29 May 2009 – 29 October 2012
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byArjun Singh
Succeeded byPallam Raju
Minister of Science and Technology
In office
23 May 2004 – 22 May 2009
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byVijay Goel
Succeeded byPawan Kumar Bansal
Minister of Earth Sciences
In office
29 January 2006 – 22 May 2009
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byVijay Goel
Succeeded byPawan Kumar Bansal
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
10 May 2004 – 16 May 2014
Preceded byVijay Goel
Succeeded byHarsh Vardhan
ConstituencyChandni Chowk, Delhi
Minister of Law and Justice
In office
11 May 2013 – 26 May 2014
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byAshwani Kumar
Succeeded byRavi Shankar Prasad
Personal details
Born (1948-08-08) 8 August 1948 (age 75)
Jalandhar, East Punjab, India
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Indian National Congress (2003 to 18 May 2022)
(m. 1973; died 2000)
Promila Sibal
(m. 2005)
Children2 sons
RelativesKanwal Sibal (brother)
Alma materSt. Stephen's College, Delhi (B.A., M.A.)
Faculty of Law, University of Delhi (LL.B.)
Harvard Law School
ProfessionSenior Advocate
WebsiteOfficial website

Kapil Sibal (born 8 August 1948) is an Indian lawyer and politician. A designated Senior Advocate, he has represented several high-profile cases in the Supreme Court of India and is widely regarded as one of the famous lawyers of India.[2][3][4] He is a Member of Parliament, in Rajya Sabha.

A University of Delhi and Harvard University graduate, Sibal has practiced law in Wall Street and held several important posts relating to law and administration including Additional Solicitor General, and President of Supreme Court Bar Association. Sibal first entered Rajya Sabha in 1998 to represent Bihar. Before that, he had unsuccessfully contested for the Lok Sabha against Sushma Swaraj.[5] He later contested from Chandni Chowk and won in 2004 and 2009.

As a senior Indian National Congress member then, Sibal served under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a minister holding various portfolios over the years. As minister, he headed delegations of India in high-profile international forums. His actions in official capacity were controversial multiple times including when he undertook to regulate internet content. Sibal often was portrayed as an intellectual face of the Congress who batted for the party on television[6] and in regular columns.

In the Supreme Court of India, he usually represented the Congress. He left the Indian National Congress in 2022 to file his nomination for the Rajya Sabha independently but backed by Samajwadi Party.[7]

Early life and education

Sibal was born on 8 August 1948 in Jalandhar in Punjab. His family migrated to India during the partition in 1947.[8] Kapil Sibal moved to Delhi in 1964. After his schooling from St John's High School, he joined St. Stephen's College, Delhi for his B.A. He earned his LL.B. degree from the prestigious Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, and later an M.A. in history from St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He joined the bar association in 1972.[9] In the year 1973, he qualified for Indian Administrative Services and was offered an appointment.[10] But he declined the offer and decided to set up his own law practice.[10] Afterwards, he attended the Harvard Law School where he enrolled for an LL.M. which he completed in 1977.[11] He was designated as senior lawyer in 1983.

In 1989, he was appointed the Additional Solicitor General of India. In 1994, he appeared in the Parliament as a lawyer and successfully defended V. Ramaswami during impeachment proceedings. The impeachment motion was placed in the assembly for debate and voting on 10 May 1993. Of 401 members present in the assembly that day, there were 196 votes for impeachment and no votes against and 205 abstentions by ruling Congress and its allies. He had served as the President of the Supreme Court Bar association on three occasions, i.e. 1995–1996, 1997–1998 and 2001–2002.[12]


Kapil Sibal joined the Bar association in 1972. He decided to set up his own law practice.[13][14] He was designated as a Senior Lawyer in 1983. He was the Additional Solicitor General of India between 1989 and 1990, as well.[13][15]

Political career

Over the years, he has held several important positions in the Government of India and the Society, such as: Additional Solicitor General of India (December 1989 – 1990); Member, Board of Management, Indira Gandhi National Open University (1993); President, Supreme Court Bar Association (1995–96, 1997–98 and 2001–2002); Member, Rajya Sabha (July 1998); Member, Executive Council, Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies (July, 2001); Member, Business Advisory Committee (August, 2001); Member, Committee on Home Affairs (January, 2002); Co-chairman, Indo-US Parliamentary Forum (2002); Member, Board of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (2002); Member, Programme Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Indian AIDS initiative (2003); Member, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention set up by the Human Rights Commission, Geneva.

Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha

Kapil Sibal takes over the charge of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology in New Delhi 24 May 2004

In the 2004 general elections, Sibal became an MP by winning the Chandni Chowk constituency against TV actor Smriti Irani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the National Capital Territory representing the Congress Party and was inducted into the Cabinet under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences. He won the constituency of Chandni Chowk for the second time for the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha elections of 2009.

During his tenure as Telecom Minister his comment about the loss in the 2G spectrum case being only notional and causing "zero loss"[16] created a public outcry[17] and he had to clarify it later.[18] Kapil Sibal was indicted by CAG for favoring M/S Phoenix Rose LLC by overlooking rules and regulations and handpicking that company for creating a database for over 500,000 working professionals of People of Indian Origin settled in the US. CAG's report said that the project's cost was $120,000 but three years after the initiation, the company has dumped the networking site, completing just over 16% of the targeted work.[19]

Also during his time in that office, his move to regulate internet content[20] was criticized across many social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.[21]

He represented India in the Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum in 2005 and 2009 held at Davos, Switzerland. He led the Indian delegation to the Annapolis Conference, USA, held to gather International support for establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of Israeli–Palestinian peace during November 2007. He led the Indian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Bali in December 2007.

Sibal approved the creation of an Indian Institute of Technology Muddenahalli as part of the 11th 5-year plan.[22] He is also the person who introduced the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system in India for Class IX and Class X and he has also started the changes in the IIT JEE pattern. He has laid the foundation stone for IIT Patna.

Kapil Sibal inaugurating the ‘National Cloud’ MeghRaj in February 2014

After the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, Sibal announced that a fresh onslaught of deadly tsunami were likely along the India southern coast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, even though was no sign of turbulence in the region.[23] The announcement was a false alarm and the Home Affairs minister withdrew their announcement.[24] Three days after the announcement, Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi called Science & Technology minister Kapil Sibal to express her concern about Sibal's 30 December public warning being "hogwash".[25]

Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha

Parliamentary Committee assignments

Independent candidate

On 25 May 2022, he filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha elections as an independent candidate with support of Samajwadi Party. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had accompanied him while he filed his nominations. Subsequently, he broke to the media that he had resigned from the Indian National Congress on 16 May.[7]

Other works

In 2011 Sibal has also announced a touchscreen tablet computer to be co-developed with private partnership. It was to be available to students for 1,500 (US$19). Satish Jha, chairman of OLPC India, the leading competitor to this venture, questioned his claim that a $35 laptop could be created in a year.[27] Five state Chief Ministers endorsed the OLPC initiative and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan himself inaugurated the project on the day Sibal showcased his future laptop. The event was attended by two members of the Union Cabinet.[28][29] This also lead to an open letter by Nicholas Negroponte offering him complete access to MIT and OLPC technologies to help realise India's dream to create a laptop of its own.[30] The computer was eventually released online as the UbiSlate7C1 tablet PC at 4,199 (US$53) and the Ubislate7C+ tablet PC at 5,199 (US$65)[31] As of February 2012, Datawind had over 1,400,000 pre-orders, but had only shipped 10,000 units - 0.7% of orders.[32] As of November 2012, many customers who put in orders still had not received their computers and were offered refunds.[33]


An anthology of Kapil Sibal's poems titled I Witness: Partial Observation was published by Roli Books, New Delhi,[34] in August 2008.

His lyrics were also turned into a studio album by A. R. Rahman titled Raunaq: Conversation of Music and Poetry in 2014.

Kapil Sibal has penned down the lyrics of the songs "Tere bina" and "Mast hawa" for 2016 Hindi film Shorgul.[35][36]

Personal life

Kapil Sibal's father was Hira Lall Sibal, a renowned advocate, his family migrated to India during the partition in 1947. In 1994, H.L. Sibal was named a "Living Legend of the Law" by the International Bar Association and in 2006, the Government of India honoured him with the 'Padma Bhushan' award for his distinguished services in the field of Public Affairs.[37] He married Nina Sibal in 1973, who died of breast cancer in 2000.[38] Amit and Akhil, Sibal's two sons from his first marriage, are both lawyers.[39] In 2005, Sibal married Promila Sibal.[40][41][42] His brother is Kanwal Sibal, a retired top diplomat of the Indian Foreign Service, and a former foreign secretary of India.


  1. ^ a b Rashid, Omar (11 June 2016). "Despite BJP's strategy, Sibal wins RS seat from U.P." The Hindu.
  2. ^ "Money and Power: Delhi's Elite Lawyer Network". 21 November 2002. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  3. ^ Service, Tribune News. "'Celebrity' lawyers, kin of judges to fight cases in SC". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  4. ^ Chandran, Prabha (21 November 2002). "Money and Power: Delhi's Elite Lawyer Network". Man's World India. Retrieved 25 January 2022. One of the highest-paid lawyers in the country, Sibal was practising on Wall Street but his political ambitions have kept him anchored in Delhi. "I came here as a young man because my wife, who was with the foreign service, was posted here. I didn't come here to become a 'celebrity lawyer!' No one knows they are going to become a celebrity," he scoffs.
  5. ^ "Law & behold Kapil Sibal". The Economic Times. Retrieved 25 January 2022. Sibal first entered the Parliament in July 1998 when he was elected to the Rajya Sabha to represent Bihar. Prior to this (in 1996), he contested the South Delhi seat unsuccessfully against BJP's Sushma Swaraj.
  6. ^ "Law & behold Kapil Sibal". The Economic Times. Retrieved 25 January 2022. Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal has been the party's face on television networks and most often than not he has been pitted against professional rival and BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley.
  7. ^ a b Phukan, Sandeep (25 May 2022). "Kapil Sibal says he has quit Congress, files Rajya Sabha nomination papers with Samajwadi Party backing". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Birthplace of Sibal". National Portal of India. Government of India. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Kapil Sibal". India Today. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Kapil Sibal & Son Akhil Exclusive Interview With Karan Thapar", India Today, 21 August 2016, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 6 May 2018
  11. ^ alumni 1977, List of Harvard Law School. "Listings and photographs of faculty, students". Harvard Law School. Harvard Law School Catalog. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Sibal, Detail about (25 January 2012). "Short Biography of Kapil Sibal". Preserve Article Press. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  13. ^ a b Minister for Earth Sciences, Govt. of India: Shri Kapil Sibal Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Ministry of Earth Sciences website.
  14. ^ Kapil Sibal Archived 30 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  15. ^ Kapil Sibal, Hon'ble Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Archived 29 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Ministry of Science and Technology
  16. ^ "No loss to Govt from 2G spectrum allocation: Sibal". Hindu Businessline. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  17. ^ Ninan, T N. "Sibal's 'zero loss' claim carries zero credibility". Rediff. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  18. ^ "I never said zero loss if spectrum was auctioned: Kapil Sibal". The Economic Times. PTI. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  19. ^ "CAG indictment adds to Kapil Sibal troubles". Daily News and Analysis. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  20. ^ Timmons, Heather (5 December 2011). "India Asks Google, Facebook to Screen User Content". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  21. ^ Iyer, Srividya (7 December 2011). "Kapil Sibal under attack: Twitter, Facebook users target him". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  22. ^ 'IIT at Muddenahalli in 11th plan'. Deccanherald.com. Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
  23. ^ "Tsunami - The Irish Times". www.irishtimes.com. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  24. ^ Tran, Tina. (30 December 2004) Associated Press "False tsunami alarm sparks panic in Indian Ocean region."
  25. ^ The Financial Express (2 January 2005) "Congress chief steps in as home, S&T ministers lock horns."
  26. ^ "Committee on External Affairs : Loksabha". loksabhaph.nic.in. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  27. ^ Article – OLPC picks holes in govt’s laptop agenda. Epaper.timesofindia.com (26 July 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
  28. ^ OLPC Stall Pics ((nogallary)) – LUG@IITD Community Blog. Lug-iitd.posterous.com (23 July 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
  29. ^ "Laptop experience for Rajasthan villagers". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010.
  30. ^ Article – $35 laptop: OLPC founder wants stress on design. Epaper.timesofindia.com (29 July 2010). Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
  31. ^ UbiSlate device specifications Archived 20 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine ubislate.com, Retrieved on 1 March 2013.
  32. ^ Aakash lurches toward another crisis as India loses patience with DataWind Engadget, Retrieved on 1 March 2013.
  33. ^ Datawind to clear all paid orders for Aakash in 6 weeks The Hindu Business Line, Retrieved on 1 March 2013.
  34. ^ Reddy, Sheela (8 September 2008). "A Couple of Syllables". Outlook India. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  35. ^ "I belong to romantic genre". 15 June 2016.
  36. ^ Basu, Indira (7 June 2016). "Kapil Sibal turns lyricist for Shorgul". The Hindu.
  37. ^ "Personal Profile | Kapil Sibal | Official Website | Perspectives and News about India, and Facts of Progress under the UPA Government". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  38. ^ The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Nation. Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved on 2011-01-22.
  39. ^ Basu, Arundhati (12 November 2005). "Legally speaking". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  40. ^ Bishakha De Sarkar (24 August 2008). "'When I'm in politics, I stick to the party line; when I'm a poet, I don't'". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  41. ^ Chadha, Kum Kum (10 February 2006). "Kapil da dhaba". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  42. ^ Gaurav Thakur (21 April 2003). "No 'politricks' for Kapil Sibal". Times of India. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
Lok Sabha Preceded byVijay Goel Member of Parliamentfor Chandni Chowk 2004 – 2014 Succeeded byHarsh Vardhan Rajya Sabha Preceded bySatish Sharma Member of Parliamentfor Rajya Sabha Uttar Pradesh 2016 – present Incumbent Political offices Preceded byVijay Goel Minister of Science and Technology 2004–2009 Succeeded byPawan Kumar Bansal Minister of Earth Sciences 2004–2009 Preceded byArjun Singh Minister of Human Resource Development 2009–2012 Succeeded byPallam Raju Preceded byA. Raja Minister of Communications and Information Technology 2011–2014 Succeeded byRavi Shankar Prasad Preceded byAshwani Kumar Minister of Law and Justice 2013–2014