Eminent lawyer and former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani passed away at his residence in New Delhi this morning. He was 95. Jethmalani a sitting Member of the Rajya Sabha, was ill for some time due to age-related ailments.
Ram Jethmalani has been called many things a legal legend, a wizard of the law and a magnet for controversy with a knack for defending the most notorious figures in India. With a career spanning the entire history of independent India and still going strong, he has managed to command respect and evoke anger in equal measure.
According to a biography written by Susan Adelman, a longtime friend, he is regarded as the most pro-Israel politician in Asia. He is one among the founders of the prestigious National School of Law and also Sunday Guardian, Bangalore. One among the longest-serving parliamentarians, he was also among the first to raise the issue of corruption in India.
In a tweet of condolence, President Ram Nath Kovind said, the nation has lost a distinguished jurist, a person of great erudition and intellect. He said, Jethmalani was known to express his views on public issues with his characteristic eloquence.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said, the nation has lost a distinguished jurist, a great intellectual and a patriot, who was active till his last breath. Mr Naidu said, he has lost a dear friend with whom he had a very long association both as Minister and as a member of Parliament.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, said in the passing away of Ram Jethmalani, India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure who made rich contributions both in the Court and Parliament. Mr Modi said, he was witty, courageous and never shied away from boldly expressing himself on any subject.
The Prime Minister said, one of the best aspects of Mr Jethmalani was the ability to speak his mind and, he did so without any fear. Mr Modi said, during the dark days of the Emergency, his fortitude and fight for public liberties will be remembered.