Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani

Legal luminary and former Union Minister Ram Jethmalani passes away

Agency News

Legal luminary and the former Union Minister Ram Boolchand Jethmalani passed away in the wee hours of Sunday. He was 95.

For the last two weeks he was under treatment. He is survived by his son Mahesh Jethmalani, a well-known lawyer and two daughters, one is settled in US and another one, Rani Jethmalani, also a lawyer, died earlier.

He has served as India's Union Law Minister and as chairman of the Bar Council of India. He has represented a sweep of cases from the high-profile to the controversial for which he has often faced severe criticism. He was the highest paid lawyer in the supreme court of india.

Ram Jethmalani obtained LL.B.degree at the age of 17 and started practising law in his hometown (in today's Pakistan) until the partition of India. He married Durga Jethmalani and later, his second wife, Ratna Jethmalani. The partition led him to move to Mumbai as a refugee and he began his life afresh with his family. He has two sons and two daughters, of whom, Mahesh Jethmalani and Rani Jethmalani are also well-known lawyers. He announced his retirement from judicial profession on 10 September 2017. Parvati came to his life at the age of 90.

He was elected a member of parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Mumbai. He has served as Law Minister of India and also as Minister of Urban Development during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee against whom he later contested election in the general elections of 2004 from Lucknow constituency. However, in 2010 he came back to BJP and was elected to Rajya Sabha on its ticket from Rajasthan. He has been criticised as being opportunistic because of this.

Jethmalani is a well known face amongst the legal community in India. Even though his forte lies in criminal law, he has appeared in many high-profile civil cases. From 1993 to 1998, he was one of the lawyers who represented Harshad Mehta during the Harshad Mehta scam and the Narasimha Rao bribery case. On 7 May 2010 he was elected as the president of Supreme Court Bar Association.