"Ram Jethmalani: where brilliance met fearlessness, and justice found its
unwavering advocate. A life lived in the pursuit of truth, leaving an
everlasting legacy in the annals of law, inspiring generations to dare, dream,
and defend justice fearlessly."...Vishal Banga
India's legal landscape has been graced by many eminent personalities, and among
them, Mr. Ram Jethmalani stands as a towering figure. Born on September 14,
1923, in Shikarpur, Sindh (now in Pakistan), Jethmalani carved an unparalleled
legacy in the legal fraternity, earning respect and admiration for his
brilliance, wit, and fearlessness.
Early Life and Education
Jethmalani's journey towards legal eminence began at the age of 17 when he
entered the field of law. His educational pursuits led him to study at Bombay
University and later at the renowned Government Law College in Mumbai. His
passion for law was evident early on, shaping his career and marking the
beginnings of a legal luminary.
Pioneering Legal Career
Armed with a sharp intellect and unwavering determination, Jethmalani embarked
on a legal career that spanned over seven decades. His legal acumen was not just
limited to one area; he navigated diverse fields including criminal law,
constitutional law, and corporate law, leaving an indelible mark in each domain.
His notable cases, which often made headlines, showcased his astute legal mind
and relentless pursuit of justice. Jethmalani's defense of high-profile clients
in some of India's most significant cases earned him widespread recognition and
Fearless Advocate and Orator
One of Jethmalani's most striking attributes was his fearlessness. He fearlessly
championed causes that he believed in, often taking on controversial cases,
defending individuals from all walks of life regardless of public opinion. His
courtroom prowess was matched only by his eloquence and sharp wit, making him an
unforgettable orator whose arguments resonated with judges, audiences, and legal
Ram Jethmalani, renowned for his legal prowess, was involved in several landmark
cases that left a lasting impact on Indian jurisprudence. Here are some of the
famous cases he fought:
Nanavati Case (1959):
One of the most famous cases in Indian legal history, Jethmalani's defense of
Commander Kawas Maneckshaw Nanavati, accused of murdering businessman Prem Ahuja,
garnered immense attention. His defense strategy, invoking the 'crime of
passion' argument, resulted in Nanavati's acquittal, marking a watershed moment
in India's legal landscape.
Defending Indira Gandhi:
In 1975, during the Emergency, Jethmalani appeared for then-Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi when she faced legal challenges regarding her election to the Lok
Sabha. His astute legal arguments helped secure a victory for Indira Gandhi in
the Allahabad High Court, though the case later led to the imposition of
Harshad Mehta Scam:
Jethmalani represented Harshad Mehta, the infamous stockbroker embroiled in a
massive securities scam in the 1990s. His defense tactics and courtroom
strategies during this high-profile financial case showcased his versatility in
handling complex financial litigation.
L.K. Advani's Defense in Hawala Case:
During the 1990s, Jethmalani defended veteran politician L.K. Advani in the
Hawala scandal, a case involving illegal payments to politicians. His legal
expertise played a pivotal role in Advani's legal battle, contributing to the
eventual discharge of the accused.
Jessica Lal Murder Case:
In the trial related to the murder of model Jessica Lal, Jethmalani appeared as
the defense counsel for one of the accused. His efforts in the courtroom brought
attention to flaws in the investigation and the judicial system, contributing to
public discourse on legal reforms.
2G Spectrum Case:
Jethmalani represented several high-profile accused in the 2G spectrum case,
utilizing his legal acumen to defend the interests of his clients in one of
India's most significant financial scandals.
These cases stand as testaments to Ram Jethmalani's legal brilliance, strategic
acumen, and his commitment to upholding justice in various domains of law.
Political Stint and Influence
Beyond the courtroom, Jethmalani also ventured into politics, holding various
positions in the government and contributing his legal expertise to shape
legislative decisions. His foray into politics added another dimension to his
illustrious career, allowing him to influence policy and governance through his
legal and political acumen.
Legacy and Enduring Impact
Mr. Ram Jethmalani's legacy extends far beyond his legal victories and political
engagements. He remains an inspiration to aspiring lawyers, revered for his
unwavering commitment to justice, his indomitable spirit, and his ability to
fearlessly challenge the status quo. His contributions to Indian jurisprudence
continue to shape the legal landscape, serving as a guiding light for future
generations of legal professionals.
The passing of Mr. Ram Jethmalani on September 8, 2019, marked the end of an era
in Indian law. His legacy, however, lives on�an enduring testament to his
unparalleled contributions to the legal fraternity, his unyielding pursuit of
justice, and his unwavering dedication to the principles of law and democracy.
Ram Jethmalani's life remains an enduring testament to the power of unwavering
dedication, the brilliance of a legal mind, and the fearlessness needed to
challenge norms and uphold justice. His legacy continues to resonate, reminding
us that in the pursuit of truth, the voice of justice shall always echo.