New Delhi: Veteran criminal lawyer and former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani passed away on Sunday at his residence here, confirmed advocate Ashish Dixit. Jethmalani was 96.
He was undergoing treatment for age-related problems. A full-time nurse was there to take care of Jethmalni at his 2, Akbar Road residence.
Jethmalani’s health deteriorated over the last two weeks. He was bedridden for a week and had lost a lot of weight, sources close to the family told IANS.
Politicians and senior lawyers were among those who have visited the Jethmalani residence following the death a little before 8 a.m.
People who visited his residence since morning were Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP chief Amit Shah, besides former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader Subraminan Swamy.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, RJD leaders Manoj Jha, Premchandra Gupta, former Justice Kurian Joseph besides senior advovocate Gopal Subramanium, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and senior Advocate Soli Sorabji and Siddharth Luthra also paid their last respect.
The cremation will be held at 4.30 p.m. at the Lodhi Road crematorium.
Jethmalini is survived by his son, Mahesh Jethmalani and his US-based daughter. One of his other daughther died earlier.
He had also served as the Minister of Urban Development in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. In 2010, he was elected as the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Born on September 14, 1923 in Sindh province Pakistan, Jethmalani completed his L.L.M. from the S.C. Shahani Law College, Karachi.
He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1977. He took charge as Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs in October 1999 until July 2000 in the Vajpayee.
A noted criminal lawyer, Jethmalani has been part of legendary cases including the famous multi-crore 2G allocation case.
He had appeared for Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, convicted for the assassination of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi; Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict V. Sriharan alias Murugan; Harshad Mehta in the stock market scam; underworld don Haji Mastan in smuggling cases; and had argued for senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani in the Hawala case.
Jethmalani has also written various books including the “Conflict of Laws”, “Justice: Soviet Style” and “Big Egos and Small Men”.
Specialist in Criminal and Constitutional Law, he was also a part-time professor in Government Law College (Mumbai), Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and Wayne State University in the US.
He also was made Chairman of the Bar Council of India in 1970 and member of International Bar Association in 1966.