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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Big challenge ahead for new law minister

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 13, 2013
First Published: 00:33 IST(13/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:55 IST(13/5/2013)

Yet again, Kapil Sibal has to don the role of UPA’s crisis manager. After telecom, it’s now the law ministry that Sibal will have to pull out of its quagmire. The major challenge before the new law minister is to restore the credibility of UPA’s hopelessly divided and battered legal team which has consistently failed in effectively putting across the government’s point of view before an aggressive judiciary.

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Sibal has less than a year’s time to set things right in the troubled law ministry before the current tenure of the government ends. 

Given the lack of time, it is highly unlikely that the new minister would be able to push through any of the key legislations on legal reforms pending in parliament and lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha makes it even more difficult.

Sibal is the fourth law minister in as many years since the UPA returned to power in May 2009, and the government has been hurtling from one crisis to another, which have been compounded by a team of feuding law officers, many of whom don’t see eye to eye.

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During last four years, two solicitor generals and three additional solicitor generals have opted out of the government team, indicating a deep unease with the state of affairs.

Though government sources have indicated that Attorney General GE Vahanvati would continue as of now, he is likely to remain on the opposition’s radar for having suggested changes in the ongoing CBI probe into the coal blocks allocation scam.

Sibal would also have to take a call on the resignation of additional solicitor general Harin Rawal, which has not been accepted so far.

Rawal had quit after the Supreme Court pulled him up for having given a wrong statement saying the CBI status report on coal blocks scam was not shared with the government.


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