India’s top lawyer and former Union Minister Ram Jethmalani, passes away at 95

By: Talat Mohsin

Jethmalani passed away at his Delhi residence , days short of his 96th birthday. He was unwell and died at his residence at 7:45, his son Mahesh Jethmalani told news agency PTI. Prior to his death, he was bedridden and had also lost a lot of weight.

The lawyer appeared in many landmark cases. He appeared in the K.M. Nanavati vs State Of Maharashtra in 1959 . He came to be known as a “smuggler lawyer” when he defended a string of smugglers in the late 1960s. He also defended L.K.Advani in the Hawala scam, Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lal case (though Sharma got convicted) and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal in defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley.

He has many awards to his name, mainly the International Jurist Award, World Peace through Law award and human rights award in 1977.

He was the Union Law Minister and in the National Democratic Alliance government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tribute to the former lawyer on twitter, posting:

Condolence messages from other politicians also came in moments after his death. Home Minister Amit Shah visited Jethmalani’s home to pay his respects.
Jethmalani will be cremated at the Lodhi road crematorium in Delhi.

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