Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday condoled the death of Ram Jethmalani, saying the country has lost an exceptional lawyer and an iconic figure who made rich contributions in courts and Parliament. Jethmalani, 95, passed away at his official residence in New Delhi on Sunday. PM Modi said Jethmalani was “witty, courageous and never shied away from boldly expressing himself on any subject”.
“In the passing away of Shri Ram Jethmalani Ji, India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure who made rich contributions both in the Court and Parliament. He was witty, courageous and never shied away from boldly expressing himself on any subject,” the prime minister tweeted.
Calling Jethmalani a fearless lawyer, PM Modi said, “One of the best aspects of Shri Ram Jethmalani Ji 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.”
“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. He may not be here but his pioneering work will live on! Om Shanti (sic),” he added.
Ram Jethmalani born on September 14, 1923 obtained his LL.B. degree at the age of 17 and started practising law in Karachi until the partition of India. Following the partition in 1947, Jethmalani moved to Mumbai as a refugee.
Jethmalani was elected a member of parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Mumbai. He has served as Law Minister of India and also as Minister of Urban Development during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He later went on to contest the general elections of 2004 against Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the Lucknow constituency.
Jethmalani ended his seven-decade-long career as he announced his retirement at a function organised by the Bar Council of India to felicitate the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra.
"I am here just to tell you I am retiring from the profession but I am taking on a new role as long as I am alive. I wish to combat the corrupt politicians that have been brought into the position of power and I hope the condition of India will take good shape,” he said during his retirement speech.