Ram Jethmalani, veteran lawyer and former union minister, passes away

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Ram Jethmalani, veteran lawyer and former union minister, passes away
Ram Jethmalani, veteran lawyer and former union minister, passes away

New Delhi : Ram Jethmalani, veteran lawyers and a former union minister, passed away on Sunday morning at his house in Delhi. He was 95-year-old.

His son Mahesh told news agency PTI that he was not keeping well from past couple of days. The legal veteran died at 7:45 am.

His last rites will be performed on the same day in the evening at the Lodhi road crematorium in Delhi.

Mr Jethmalani, a six-time Rajya Sabha member, served as a Union Minister in the United Front and the BJP-led NDA governments. He was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cabinet in 1998 and then again in October 1999. However, he quit the Vajpayee government in July 2000.

Ram Jethmalani has several high profile cases in his bucket and had defended several top politicians such as LK Advani, Lalu Prasad Yadav, J Jayalalithaaa and Arvind Kejriwal.

He was born on September 14, 1923, Mr Jethmalani had obtained a law degree when he was just 17 and started practising law in Karachi until Partition, says his official website. "The partition led him to move to Bombay as a refugee and he began his life afresh with his family," it says.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death and tweeted,"India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure who made rich contributions both in the Court and Parliament."

In another tweet, 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."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal paid tribute to the veteran lawyer on Twitter.

"Extremely saddened at the passing away of legendary lawyer Ram Jethmalani ji. An institution in himself, he shaped criminal law in post-independence India. His void would never be filled and his name will be written in golden words in legal history. RIP Ram sir," Mr Kejriwal wrote.