Eminent jurist and former Union minister Ram Jethmalani passed away on Sunday at the age of 95, his family members said. Jethmalani breathed his last at 7.45 am at his official residence in New Delhi, his son Mahesh Jethmalani told PTI. Mahesh and other close acquaintances said Ram Jethmalani was not keeping well for a few months. He passed away a few days before his 96th birthday on September 14, his son said.
Bollywood celebrities like Farhan Akhtar, director Mahesh Bhatt, Nimrat Kaur, Kunal Kohli, and Hansal Mehta took to their Twitter handle to mourn the demise of the veteran lawyer Jethmalani. Bhatt thanked Jethmalani for touching his life and offered condolences. Meanwhile, Farhan Akhtar said that the time spent conversing with him will always be "etched fondly" in his memory. Read the full tweets below -
RIP #RamJethmalani ji. The time spent in conversation with you has always remained etched fondly in my memory. Condolences to the family. 🙏🏼— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) September 8, 2019
Even the sky must learn to say goodbye to the stars . I thank you sir for touching my life. 🙏🙏🙏. Ram Jethmalani passes away at 95.— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) September 8, 2019
RIP Ram Jethmalani. A giant of a lawyer. A man full of life till the very end. Met him a few months ago and had a few drinks with him. He lived life to the fullest.— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) September 8, 2019
Growing up, no matter where you were in India, when one learnt of law as a profession, the one name you learnt of that personified it, was Ram Jethmalani. A great man leaves behind a legacy urban folklore is made of. Salute him for his indelible work. 🙏🏼#RIPRamJethmalani— Nimrat Kaur (@NimratOfficial) September 8, 2019
Mahesh said his father's last rites will be performed in the evening at the Lodhi road crematorium here. Besides Mahesh Jethmalani, the former Union minister is survived by his daughter based in the US. His other daughter, Rani Jethmalani, died in 2011. RIP Ram Jethmalani: Arvind Kejriwal calls him an 'institution'
Jethmalani was the Union law minister and also the Urban development minister during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. He also served as the Supreme Court Bar Association president in 2010. He was born in Shikarpur in Sindh province (now in Pakistan) on September 14, 1923 and obtained a law degree at the age of 17.
Ram Jethmalani was a part of BJP and was elected as a member of parliament in 6th and 7th Lok Sabha. He had served as Union Minister of Law and urban development under Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. Jethmalani had an illustrious legal career with his first noteworthy case being the KM Nanavati versus State of Maharashtra case. He had been associated in high profile and controversial cases like that of defence of Rajiv Gandhi's killer, defence of Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh in stock market scams. He was also elected as president of Supreme Court Bar association.
Ram Jethmalani, known as a maverick lawyer obtained a law degree at an early age of 17 and started practising law in Karachi until the partition of India. After partition, he moved to the then Bombay province. He was married at the age of eighteen, and later married Ratna Shahani, who was herself a lawyer, in the year 1952. He has two sons and two daughters.
Jethmalani has published many books, namely 'Justice Soviet Style', 'Big Egos Small Men', 'Conscience of a Maverick', 'Maverick: Unchanged, Unrepentant'. He has also written books on various law subjects such as Private International Law, Media Law, and Conflict of Laws. Jethmalani has two biographies written after him, 'Ram Jethmalani: An Authorized Biography' by Nalin Gera; and 'The Rebel' by Susan Adelman.