One of India’s most famous lawyers and former Union law minister Ram Jethmalani passed away early Sunday morning in New Delhi, six days short of his 96th birthday.
He is survived by his son, noted lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani and a daughter based in the US. His other daughter Rani Jethmalani died a few years ago. Mahesh Jethmalani said his father’s last rites will be performed in the evening at Delhi’s Lodhi road crematorium, according to news agency PTI.
Among the high-profile cases that Ram Jethmalani fought were those for the assassins of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He also defended Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh in stock market scams, Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lal murder case , DMK leader Kanimozhi in the 2G scam. and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation suit filed by the late Arun Jaitley.
He was elected a member of Parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha on a BJP ticket. Jethmalani was also a member of the current Rajya Sabha. In 2013, the BJP expelled Jethmalani from the party for six years for making anti-party statements.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to Ram Jethmalani’s family and said India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure.
One of the best aspects of Shri Ram Jethmalani Ji was the ability to speak his mind. And, he did so without any fear. During the dark days of the Emergency, his fortitude and fight for public liberties will be remembered. Helping the needy was an integral part of his persona.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 8, 2019
Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Jethmalani’s residence to pay his respects . “Deeply pained to know about the passing away of India’s veteran lawyer and former Union Minister Shri Ram Jethmalani ji. In him we have not only lost a distinguished lawyer but also a great human who was full of life.,” Shah tweeted.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also condoled the veteran lawyer’s death.
Deeply condole the passing away of the veteran lawyer and former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani. His brilliance, eloquence, powerful advocacy and sound understanding of law will remain a worthy example in legal profession. My profound condolences.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) September 8, 2019
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal mourned Jethmalani’s death and described him as an institution. “Extremely saddened at the passing away of legendary lawyer Ram Jethmalani ji. An institution in himself, he shaped criminal law in post-independence India. His void would never be filled and his name will be written in golden words in legal history,” he tweeted.