“A lawyer is not paid for his opinion but for presenting the case of a client as effectively and honestly as he can”– Ram Jethmalani.
He is called the ‘maverick lawyer’ and many more names which adorn him like a batch of honor. He is Mr. Ram BoolchandJethmalani, born in 1923 in Shikarpur(now in Pakistan). He was a bright student in school who got triple promotion. This Indian lawyer and politician who completes 95 years on September 14, has served as India’s Union Law Minister and as chairman of the Bar Council of India for four tenures, both before and after emergency.
His very first case was at the early age of 17, after completing his LL.B. from SC Shahani Law College (Karachi), when he persuaded the Chief Minister of Sind to pass a special resolution to relax the rules of the Bar as the minimum age at that time was 21 years. His journey after that was no less than a roller-coaster ride yet was stupendous. He came to India after the partition as refugee and the very first case in India was against the Bombay refugees Act passed by the then Chief Minister Morarji Desai which treated refugees in an inhumane manner. The case that brought him to highlight was K.M. Nanavati v. State of Maharastra. His image as the smuggler’s lawyer was established when he defended a string of smugglers in late 1960s. He has always stood by his own views and he has no fear when it comes to defending his clients. He has defended all his clients with same gusto and belief, be it the killers of Indira Gandhi or opposing death penalty of Afzal Guru. Recently, he sent Delhi Government a bill of over 1.5 crores for appearing for CM Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation suit.
The veteran lawyer and former Union Minister ended his seven-decade-long career last year when he announced his retirement on September 8 during a function organized by the Bar Council of India to felicitate Chief Justice Dipak Mishra. Additionally, he said that he wants to save India from corrupt politicians and will help any lawyer who wants legal assistance.
The controversial defense lawyer has contributed and dedicated his whole life to the field of law. He became a part-time professor at the Government Law College, Mumbai in 1954, for both graduate and post-graduate studies. More recently, he became the national advisory to the platform of LegitQuest which dedicated itself to efficient legal research. Ram Jethmalani have many high profile defense cases under his belt in which he appeared and did his legal duty with all the honesty.
The legendary lawyer who holds the distinction of being the oldest and the youngest member of Bar has been instrumental in impacting our legal and political history. It all started with the Nanavati case where he assisted the Public Prosecutor in both the Trial Court and High Court. It is said that when the conviction became a rallying point between the Parsi and Sindhi community, he stepped in and conviced Ahuja’s sister to write a letter forgiving her brother’s killer. He challenged the unlawful detention made during the emergency declared by Indira Gandhi in the Supreme Court (The Habeas Corpus case).
He is not only a great lawyer but a wonderful orator who keeps the judges spellbound by his intellectual arguments. Therefore, on the occasion of him turning 96, the team of INBA would like to thank him for his notable contributions and wish him a joyous birthday.
By- BhanuPriyaBhati (Student Reporter INBA)