Lawyer to Union minister: Life and career of Ram Jethmalani

Ram Jethmalani, one of India’s most well-known lawyers, died on Sunday morning.

Ram Jethmalani, one of India’s most well-known lawyers, died on Sunday morning. He was 95.

Jethmalani is survived by two sons and a daughter. His daughter Rani Jethmalani, who was also a lawyer, died a few years ago.

Here are some highlights from his life and career:

* Jethmalani, who was born September 23, 1923, earned a degree in law when he was 17 and started practising law in Karachi until the partition of India.

* Ram Jethmalani came under the spotlight with his appearance in the case of KM Nanavati, an Indian Navy Commander who was tried for the murder, in 1959.

* He was a six-time Rajya Sabha member, served as Union law minister and the chairperson of the Bar Council of India.

* Known as one of the highest-paid lawyers, Jethmalani was involved in defending several top politicians in high-profile cases of corruption and scams, including LK Advani in hawala case, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in fodder case, former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha in the disproportionate assets case, DMK lawmaker Kanimozhi in 2G scam case, BS Yeddiurappa in mining scam case, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal among others.

* He also defended Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh in stock market scams case, Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lal murder case, Afzal Guru in Parliament attack case, Subrato Roy in Sahara-SEBI case, Baba Ramdev in 2011 Ramlila ground incident case.

* He was elected a member of Parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Mumbai.

* He also served as the minister of urban development under prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He had contested against Vajpayee in the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 from Lucknow constituency.

* He was expelled from the BJP in 2013 for six years on charges of “breach of discipline”. Before that, he was suspended from the party in November 2012 based for making anti-party statements.

* He announced his retirement from the legal profession in 2017.

* He was also the professor emeritus of Symbiosis Law School in Pune and served as the chairperson of the weekly newspaper ‘The Sunday Guardian’.

* He wrote many books, including ‘Justice Soviet Style’, ‘Big Egos Small Men’, ‘Conscience of a Maverick’, ‘Maverick: Unchanged, Unrepentant’.


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