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Ram Jethmalani, Eminent Supreme Court Lawyer and Former Law Minister, Passes Away at 96

Ram Jethmalani, Eminent Supreme Court Lawyer and Former Law Minister, Passes Away at 96

Ram Jethmalani fought several high-profile cases in his career, beginning with the famous KM Nanavati versus State of Maharashtra case in 1959.

New Delhi: Ram Jethmalani, eminent Supreme Court lawyer and former union law minister, passed away at his residence on Sunday, just six days short of his 96th birthday.

Ram Jethmalani breathed his last at 7:45 am at his official residence, his son Mahesh Jethmalani told news agency PTI, adding that his father had not been keeping well for a few months. Mahesh Jethmalani said his father's last rites will be performed on Sunday evening at the Lodhi road crematorium.

Jethmalani, who announced his retirement in September 2017, fought several high-profile cases, representing many controversial clients from stockbroker Harshad Mehta to former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, among others.

From appearing in the famous KM Nanavati versus State of Maharashtra case in 1959 to the multi-crore 2G scam in 2011, from being LK Advani's defence in the Hawala scam to fighting for Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley, Jethmalani has been part of many high-profile cases in the court of law.

Ram Jethmalani was also a member of the current Rajya Sabha. He is survived by his son Mahesh Jethmalani, who is also a noted lawyer, and a daughter. His other daughter, Rani Jethmalani, had passed away in 2011.

Home minister Amit Shah paid his last respects to the veteran lawyer at the latter's residence, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has lost an “exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure”.

Speaking to News18, senior lawyer Indira Jaising said, “He was an incredible lawyer and today is not a day to talk about politics. It is a huge loss to the legal fraternity. I do not know if there will be another Ram Jethmalani.”

Congress leader and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi remembered Jethmalani as a “courageous man”. “I have known him for a long time. He was a very courageous man. He was a valued colleague in the Rajya Sabha and was never afraid to call spade a spade. We have lost an institution,” he told News18.

Condolences also poured in on Twitter from several members of the legal and political fraternity.