Veteran jurist Ram Jethmalani passes away
New Delhi: Eminent jurist and outspoken former Union minister Ram Jethmalani, who fought some of the most difficult criminal cases and defended the accused in the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi assassination cases, passed away on Sunday at the age of 95.
Jethmalani breathed his last at 7.45 am at his official residence in New Delhi. He was not keeping well for a few months, his son Mahesh Jethmalani said.
He died a few days before his 96th birthday on September 14. Jethmalani's last rites will be performed around 4:30 pm on Sunday at the Lodhi Road crematorium here, his son said.
Besides Mahesh, the former Union minister is survived by his daughter based in the US. His other daughter Rani Jethmalani died in 2011, and another son Janak had also passed away.
Jethmalani served as Union Law minister and also as Urban Development Minister during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee against whom he later contested the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow seat. He also served as the Supreme Court Bar Association president in 2010. Soon after the news of Jethmalani's death came, tributes started pouring in with President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoling his demise.
Jethmalani was elected as a member of Parliament in the sixth and seventh Lok Sabha on Janta party and BJP tickets, respectively from Mumbai in 1977 and 1980. He came back to the BJP in 2010 and was elected to Rajya Sabha on the party's ticket from Rajasthan.
In 2013, Jethmalani was expelled from the BJP's primary membership for six years for "breach of discipline" and "anti-party" statements. He later filed a suit against the BJP for expelling him and sought Rs 50 lakh in damage. The matter was amicably settled after Shah expressed "regret" over his expulsion.
Born in Shikarpur in Sindh province (now in Pakistan) in 1923, Jethmalani obtained a law degree at 17. As a lawyer, he shot to fame in 1959 when he was the prosecutor in the K M Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra case in which a Naval Commander was tried for the murder of his wife's lover.
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