Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday said with the demise of Arun Jaitley, the country has lost "an eminent senior advocate" and "a tall leader".
"I am personally, deeply saddened by the passing of Arun Jaitley," the CJI told PTI.
Justice Gogoi said on behalf of the country's judiciary:
"I express my condolences to his family and pray for the noble soul to rest in peace."
Being an attorney, Arun Jaitley's career in the field of law was also remarkable. He represented many well -known clients like Sharad Yadav, Madhavrao Scindia, L K Advani among several other politicians. Arun Jaitley was also appointed as the Additional Solicitor General during the V P Singh government in 1989. He stopped practising law once he flagged off his role as a Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha in 2009.
Born in Delhi on December 28, 1952, Arun Jaitley studied at the St Xavier's school and went on to graduate with a degree in commerce from the Shri Ram College of Commerce in 1973, and went on to pursue an LLB at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. At that time, he is also said to have considered becoming a Chartered Accountant. Active in politics since his time as a student, Jaitley was a member of the ABVP, and served as the President of the Delhi University Students Union in 1974. Like a number of his contemporaries in the BJP, Jaitley was put under preventive custody for fighting the Emergency as part of the JP movement, the clampdown on him lasting 19 months. He rose to become the president of the Delhi ABVP and its All India Secretary, He became the president of the youth wing of the Jan Sangh which he had joined later.
Parallel to his political commitments, Jaitley also practiced law, before the Supreme Court and numerous High Courts. He was appointed ASG in the VP Singh government in 1989, and has also appeared in several corporate matters. He stopped practicing law only in June 2009 on becoming leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, he had served as the minister for Law and Justice.
He is best known for having served as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs in the first Narendra Modi government, having also held portfolios of Defence and Information and Broadcasting. It was Jaitley who rolled out the GST in 2017 which saw India becoming a unified market for goods and services for the first time, and was also the first chairman of the GST council, being widely credited for forging consensus leading to the Constitutional amendment that eventually passed the GST Bill.
Jaitley opted out of the second Narendra Modi government, having gone to the US for two spells of treatment for a medical ailment in 2018-19. He has, however, regularly taken to Facebook and Twitter to pen blogs on various significant issues in the country.
(With PTI Inputs)