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Published On: Sun, Sep 8th, 2019

Noted jurist Ram Jethmalani passes away

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Ram-Jethmalani-PicNEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday condoled the death of veteran criminal lawyer and former Union Minister Ram Jethmalani Jethmalani passed away early Sunday morning at his residence here. He was 96.
In a series of tweets, Modi said: “In the passing away of Ram Jethmalani, India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure who made rich contributions both in the court and Parliament.
“I consider myself fortunate to have got numerous opportunities to interact with Shri Ram Jethmalani Ji. In these sad moments, my condolences to his family, friends and many admirers.
“One of the best aspects of Ram Jethmalani 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.”
Shah also took to the micro-blogging site where he said that Jethmalani’s death was an “”irreparable loss to the entire legal community”. “He will always be remembered for his vast knowledge on legal affairs. My condolences to the bereaved family,” he added.

Eminent lawyer-politician Jethmalani, who courted several controversies in his career and was known for his sharp remarks.
Jethmalani was a Rajya Sabha member from RJD. He served as law and urban development minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government but even during his days in the BJP he would never hold back on criticising his own party.
Later, in 2004 he contested against Vajpayee from Lucknow in the Lok Sabha election. He had represented the BJP in the Lower House from Mumbai twice. Never one to shy away from a verbal duel, he would make news for becoming a defence attorney for those who were in the dock for grave crimes.
He fought the cases of the assassins of Indira Gandhi and later her son Rajiv. He was also defended stock market scam accused Harshad Mehta and Ketan Mehta . In recent times, he fought the case of Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru and Manu Sharma, who was facing the charge of shooting dead Jessica Lal for not making him a drink.
Jethmalani was acerbic in his political life as well. He took on Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during the Bofors gun deal controversy, posing a series of questions to him through the press on a daily basis. When Gandhi was asked about the questions, he said he would not pay attention to every barking dog. Jethmalani .. barks only at a thief.
He was unsparing in his remarks against the BJP even as a member and had the reputation of writing letters or voicing his dissent within the party forum.(With Agency Inputs ).

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