When Ram Jethmalani ended his seven-decade-long career, 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.
This announcement was typical of Ram Jethmalani's personality. He was someone who never backed away from a fight and love taking up the biggest, the mightiest and the most controversial ones.
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 said. He was not keeping well for a few months and passed away just six days before his 96th birthday on September 14. Mahesh said his father’s last rites will be performed in the evening at the Lodhi road crematorium.
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.
In 1959, Ram Jethmalani appeared in the famous K.M. Nanavati vs. State of Bombay case. This was among the last cases to be heard as a jury trial in India, as the government abolished jury trials soon after.
Some famous cases Ram Jethmalani fought during his career: