NEW DELHI: Eminent lawyer and former Union law minister
passed away early on Sunday morning. He was 95.
Jethmalani had been on round the clock medical help
Ram Jethmalani: In black and white
for last two weeks. He is survived by his son, noted lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, and a US-based daughter. His other daughter Rani Jethmalani had pre-deceased him.
Ram Jethmalani breathed his last at 7.45 am at his official residence in New Delhi, his son Mahesh Jethmalani told PTI. Mahesh and other close acquaintances said Ram Jethmalani was not keeping well for a few months.
Ram Jethmalani passed away a few days before his 96th birthday on September 14, his son said. Mahesh said his father’s last rites will be performed in the evening at the Lodhi road crematorium in the national capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condole the death of Jethmalani.
India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure who made rich contributions both in the Court and Parliament. He was witty, courageous and never shied away from boldly expressing himself on any subject,” the PM tweeted.
Home minister Amit Shah paid his condolences to Jethmalani at his residence. “In him we have not only lost a distinguished lawyer but also a great human who was full of life,” he tweeted.
Born in Sikharpur of Sindh province on September 14, 1923, Ram Boolchand Jethmalani signed his name in bold letters in the legal field by arguing numerous landmark cases in Supreme Court, HCs and trial courts.
He became a lawyer at the young age of 18.
“I got a double promotion in school and completed matriculation at the age of 13. I secured an LLB degree by the time I was 17. In those days, one could only become a lawyer at the age of 21. But a special resolution allowed me to become a lawyer at 18,” he told TOI in an earlier interview conducted in 2002.
His first noteworthy case came in 1959 when he was the prosecutor in the KM Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra case.
His other high-profile cases included the defence of Rajiv Gandhi’s killer in Madras high court in 2011. He defended Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh in stock market scams. He also defended the death sentence to Afzal Guru and also represented Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lall murder case.
In 2010, he was elected as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
He was elected a member of Parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha on a Bhartiya Janta Party ticket from Mumbai.
He served as the Union law minister and the minister of urban development in Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.
Later, he contested against Vajpayee in the 2004 general elections from Lucknow constituency