Ram Jethmalani: 10 Facts About India’s Most Famous Lawyer

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Eminent jurist and former Union minister Ram Jethmalani passed away in New Delhi on Sunday. He was 95.

Here are 10 interesting facts about one of the most well-known lawyers in the country.

  1. Ram Jethmalani was born in 1923 in Shikarpur (now in Pakistan). He was a bright student and got a triple promotion in school.
  2. Jethmalani obtained a law degree when he was only 17 and practised law in Karachi until the partition of India. He chose to study law and pursue it despite opposition from his father.
  3. Being the youngest lawyer, he had to persuade the then Chief Justice of Sind to pass a special resolution to relax the rules which mandated that a lawyer had to be 21 years or above) and allow him to practice.
  4. He moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1948 and started practising there.
  5. In 1959, Jethmalani appeared in the famous KM Nanavati vs. State of Bombay case. This was among the last cases to be heard as a jury trial in India.
  6. He earned a reputation of being a “smuggler’s lawyer” after he defended Haji Mastan in a smuggling case.
  7. Jethmalani also defended the killers of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Dalal Street scammers Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh and DMK MP Kanimozhi. He also opposed the death sentence of Afzal Guru.
  8. He served as the Union Law Minister and also the Minister of Urban Development during the Prime Ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He later went on to contest the 2004 general elections against Vajpayee from the Lucknow constituency.
  9. In 1987, at the age of 64, Ram Jethmalani announced his candidature for the President’s post. He also launched a political front called Bharat Mukti Morcha.
  10. In a more recent occurrence, he made news for sending the Delhi government a bill of over Rs 1.5 crore for appearing for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation suit.

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