Ram Jethmalani death anniversary: Looking back at life, career of former Union minister

Jethmalani was known for his robust arguments and intimidating presence in the courts, especially during trials.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, September 07, 2022, 04:22 PM IST
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Former Union Law Minister and Iconic lawyer Ram Jethmalani |

It is impossible to forget a personality like former Union Minister and advocate Ram Jethmalani. He definitely loved playing the devil's advocate but he is widely known for fighting the KM Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra case.

Jethmalani, who was Member of Parliament and served as a Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government, was a trailblazer. He was known for his robust arguments and intimidating presence in the courts, especially during trials.

His life, which was full of hardhsip and rebellion, has been documented in two biographies Ram Jethmalani : The Authorized Biography by Nalini Gera and Rebel: A Biography of Ram Jethmalani by Susan Adelman.

Three years since his passing [September 8, 2019], he is still a revered figure. Here's a lookback on his life and career ahead of his third death anniversary.

Jethmalani was born in Sindh provine to parents Boolchand Jethmalani and Prabati Boolchand. After getting his LLB degree at 17, he began practicing in his hometown Shikharpur until partition of India.

The lawyer had to start his life and career afresh in Bombay; he had reportedly arrived in the city in 1948 on the advice of his old friend lawyer AK Brohi and stayed at a refugee camp.

Jethmalani, who authored several books like Big Egos, Small Men; Conscience of a Maverick and others, defended the accused of assassinating the former prime ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, Afzal Guru, Manu Sharma in Jessica Lal murder case. He also defence Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh in Securities scam of 1992.

In 2010, he was elected as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

The lawyers political foray was equally interesting; he was associated with parties like Jan Sangh, the BJP and contested Lok Sabha polls as an independent candidate.

He was elected to the sixth and seventh Lok Sabha from the BJP and held the portfolios of law, followed by urban development in two Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA governments.

The former minister was critical of Indira Gandhi during the Emergency. Jethmalani, who was then the chairman of the Bar Association of India, faced arrest warrant for his criticism of Emergency.

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