It’s been two years on September 6, when the Supreme Court scrapped off section 377 from the Indian Constitution. Nonetheless, the court remains silent on the appointment of advocate Saurabh Kirpal as a Delhi High Court judge.
Advocate Saurabh Kirpal, who is a queer, believes his sexuality to be the reason behind not being considered for a High Court judge position by a three-member Supreme Court collegium led by CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde. He is the first lawyer to open up on such an issue.
In an interview with The Print, Kirpal said, “This is all mired in a cloud of innuendo. The problem is that the collegium system is opaque and because it is opaque, I cannot say what is the reason and what is there in the mind of judges.”
“There was some kind of an Intelligence Bureau report, which I don’t have access to but only read about in the media, that there was some problem with my partner. So, this (non-elevation) has probably got to do with my sexuality.”
Kirpal, in a hope to be a role model for other members of the community, gave his consent when asked whether he is willing to be a judge.
But during that period, many conflictive thoughts crossed his mind whether to accept it or not. He said, “Work was going very well, and still is. It was difficult to give all of that up, to give up my freedom, to give up the money, it was all a tough call for me.”
Kirpal during his interview mentioned that he considers all the developments in the past three years a series of less than pleasant events. His name was discussed thrice. No inadequacies were found in Kirpal’s candidature, yet no-decision for his elevation was initiated by the collegium.
“Contrary to a lot of pessimists, I have great hope from the Supreme Court. A long battle has to be fought for the LGBTQ community. We now have sufficient bandwidth on the legal front. The arc of history is long and it always bends towards justice. And that is my belief,” Kripal said.
The latest collegium resolution of 17 August 2020, related to Delhi High Court appointments, did not refer to Kirpal’s recommendation.