India and Ram Jethmalani-
There have been many controversies surrounding lawyers when they made unanticipated moves in the legal world. From defending the assassins of Rajeev Gandhi to guarding Asaram Bapu, Ram Jethmalani has earned such a reputation. Jethmalani has created different images of himself from one day being Law Minister of India to defending the death sentence of Afzal Guru and many more such contrasting images have occurred of him. One thing that we are sure about is his excellence in the subject of Law and his critical and oratory aura that has made him a distinguished jurist and India is blessed to have him.
What It Means To Start From Scratch!
Ram Jethmalani was one of the oldest to practice law in the Supreme Court of India. He was born in Shikarpur, Sindh which is presently in Pakistan. Ram Jethmalani gained an unbelievable triple promotion in school. He completed L.L.B at just 17 years old and became one of the youngest lawyers India has ever produced. Another distinguishable fact is that the then Chief Justice of Sind passed a resolution so that an 18 year old Ram Jethmalani could join the bar. Ram Jethmalani received his L.L.M from the University of Bombay.
Jethmalani started his legal career in Sindh itself, before partition. He began his own firm with A.K Brohi in Karachi. A.K. Brohi went on to become the first Law Minister of Pakistan. After Partition, he came to Mumbai as a refugee. Ram Jethmalani won the case, against the State, that prevailed in Mumbai allowing discrimination against refugees.
- Defended Asaram Bapu in Sexual Assault Case- In August 2013, a teenage girl alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Asaram Bapu when her gfamily went to visit one of his Ashrams in Rajasthan. Ram Jethmalani, on being asked on why did he take up the case or whether he felt if Asaram Bapu was guilty, said that it does not matter if Asaram was guilty or not guilty, everyone in the country deserves a fair trial, that’s what this judiciary system says, and for the question on why did he take his case, he said simply because Asaram was paying him good money, naturally.
- Defended Afsal Guru’s Execution- The 2001 Parliament attacks mastermind Afsal Guru was declared guilty and awarded capitol punishment by the Supreme Court in 2003. There were many allegations about Afsal Guru not recieving a fair trial. Public sentiment did not favor Ram Jethmalani when people realised that Jethmalani was trying to commute the punishment given to Afsal Guru. However, Afsal Guru was hanged in 2013. He was publicly criticised by Raj Thackeray for taking up the case of all three accused of the Parliament attacks of 2003.
- Defending the accused in Rajiv Gandhi assasination case- Ram Jethmalani defended three of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Jethmalani said that 1991 suicide bomb attack which killed Rajiv Gandhi was “not a crime against nation”. He said that it was simply a conspiracy to punish the Prime Minister for the promises he didn’t fulfill to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This roused an angry public opinion of Ram Jethmalani.
- In 2011, Ram Jethmalani was invited to the Pakistan High Commissioner’s reception. There were many luminary faces such as those of the Indian Foreign Secretary, Chinese Ambassador, Pakistan Foreign Minister, etc. During the dinner, Jethmalani got up and started a speech and called China “an enemy” of both India and Pakistan. The Pakistan High Commissioner instantly informed the Chinese envoy that Pakistan didn’t share the same views as Jethmalani, and the Indian Foreign Minister had to do the same.
Unorthodox or Just Himself?
A number of conspiracies surround a learned man and what is the reason of that? Jethmalani’s forte was Criminal Law. We know that public image does matter for a lawyer, but Jethmalani only seemed to do what he thought was right from the perspective of Law. With acute intelligence and a lot of guts, Jethmalani was willing to step where other advocates didn’t dare to. By saying only what he thought, doing what was required, Jethmalani set a perfect example of an unbiased and excellent lawyer who showed indisputable dedication to the field of law and to the Judicial system of India.
For The Country and other political activities
Ram Jethmalani not only went against the government in many of the most astounding times but stood by the government on many occasions as well. The knowledge, experience and a knack of public speaking did not go unnoticed as he was courted by one of the biggest political parties in India, BJP . Jethmalani is an incumbent member of the Rajya Sabha.
- He was the Law and Justice Minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee on two occasions, once only for a month(May 1996-June 1999), the other for an year (June 1999- July 2000) due to his proved excellence in the field.
- Jethmalani served as the Minister of Urban Development from March 1998 to June 1999.
- He runs his own newspaper, The Sunday Guardian which is a prominent newspaper today.
- In 2013,Ram Jethmalani was expelled from the BJP for tagging his opposition party members as “Silent against huge Corruption”.
- In 1987, he announced his candidature for the President’s post. He also launched his own political party called Bharat Mukti Morcha.
- In 2010, Mr. Ram Jethmalani was made the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
- He was awarded the International Jurist Award for his great contribution to Law.
- World Peace through Law Award
- Human Rights Award for his fight against authoritarianism in Philippines.
Ram Jethmalani has certainly been the most gutty and dexterous lawyer this country has witnessed. He is a living legend. This country would be obliged if someone who is even half the lawyer Mr. Jethmalani is turns up.