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The End of an Era: Ram Jethmalani Retires

Vishad Srivastava, B.A. LL.B, Amity University

“A lawyer is not paid for his opinion but for presenting the case of client as effectively and honestly he can.” Words from the deadly advocate Ram Jethmalani are being remembered as he has announced his retirement in the function organized by Bar Council of India to felicitate Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Although he indicated earlier and informed the Supreme Court Justice, Justice Kurian Joseph that this was his last case and he will not be taking legal matter any more.

Early Life

No one can stand till 76 years in the bar unless the name is Ram Jethmalani.  On 14 September 1923 a boy born in the house of Boolchand Jethmalani and Parbati Boolchand at Shikrapur in Sindh division of then Bombay Presidency, now part of Pakistan which was named Ram. He jumped 3 years in the school and hence completed matriculation at the age of 13. He secured his LL.B degree at the age of 17 from S.C Sahani Law College, Karachi. At the time when minimum age for becoming a lawyer was 21 years, so to join the Bar he persuaded the Chief Justice of Sind to pass a special resolution for the relaxation of minimum age for the entry in the bar. Ram Jethmalani started his career as a professor in Sindh before partition. He and his friend A.K.Brohi started their law firm and in 1948 Jethmalani moved to India leaving A.K.Brohi who later turned out to be Law Minister of Pakistan.

Legal Life

Ram Jethmalani gain the limelight with his appearance in the case of  K.M  Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra where the case is of landmark judgement as after this jury trial ends. In late in 1960 he continuously defended the smugglers. Jethmalani has long history of defence , he has appeared as a defence lawyer for L.K Lalwani in Hawala Scam case, he has defended Manu Sharma, prime accused in Jessica lal  murder case, defended Rajiv Gandhi killers,Indira Gandhi killers, Don Haji Mastan, Amit Shah in fake encounter case, Lalu Prasad Yadav in fodder scam,Suboroto roy Sahara, Jaylalitha and lastly Arvind Kejriwal. Staring from underworld to various parties politician he has almost successfully defended all of them. Although it is the irony that he has always represented the wrong side for which he has faced much criticism  and many negative remarks he got by defending Afgal Guru who was accused of  attack on the Parliament and later on convicted but at the ends it is the beauty of advocacy to represent your  client case legally strong and  accurate no matter how much that person is morally wrong.

Political Outlook

Mr. Ram Jethmalani became amember of Rajya Sabha in 1988, since then he became the active member of poilitcs.He became the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs in 1996 in the government led by Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee During the second tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he was given the portfolio of Union Minister of Urban Affairs and Employment in 1998. But on 13 October 1999 he was again sworn in as the Union Minister of Law and justice and Company Affairs. However he was asked to resign by the Prime Minister following differences with the then Chief Justice of India Adarsh Sein Attorney General of India. It is believed that Jethmalani never enjoyed the confidence of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was inducted into the Cabinet on Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani insistence. His resignation  was asked suddenly and he gave just three liner resignation where he wrote as desired by the Prime  Minister. According to the  notions developed that Jethmalani and Attorney General were not having good relation since ADM Jabalpur case where MISA was triggered and from that time onwards their was rivalry forwhich Mr. Jethmalani has to pay the  cost. After resigning he constested election against Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lucknow he  lost and later on in 2010 Jethmalani got the ticket again from B.J.P from Rajasthan where he won. In 2012 he was expelled from party and then Lalu Prasad offer ticket and then Jethmalani entere in Rajyasabha where he contended against corruption. He has got world peace award in law and international justice award

Ram Jethmalani has retired from his legal life but he has take up a new role for himself as stated by him that he will now combat the corruption that is prevailing in the present system. He also remarked that he has no faith in the present and previous government as both have been failed to take out black money from the foreign state. Jethmalani is himself a law school where 76 years he has understood each and every aspect of law but he himself consider a student of law and is learning every new thing now and then which is very inspirational for all the young mind. Ram jethmalani started his carrer at the  youngest age of 17 where he took 1 Rs as a fees for his first case  and thereafter he contitnuously progress and  thereby making his graph of success reaching at a new height. At last from his words his thought about young aspirational mind will  be left to us mesmerizing that “ the older you get, the younger should be your company.”

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