CHENNAI: Senior Supreme court lawyer and former Union Minister for Law and Justice under the Vajpayee regime, Ram Jethmalani was a great upholder of the rule of law and was a 'trusted ambassador' in the dispensation of justice for thousands of people, both as a lawyer and as former Indian Bar Council president, the DMK leader M K Stalin said here on Sunday.
“I am deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Ram Jethmalani at the age of 95 and offer my heartfelt condolence to his family members and to members of the legal fraternity,” Stalin said in a condolence message on behalf of the DMK.
Recalling Jethmalani had become an advocate at a young age of 18, Stalin said he had appeared in any number of cases from the lowest Magistrate court right up to the Supreme Court. A 'star lawyer' associate with many high-profile cases, Jethmalani left an indelible imprint on the legal scene with his sharpness of mind, argumentative power and legal knowledge, Mr. Stalin said, adding, “he was like thunder when he was arguing any case in the courts.”
Jethmalani had a deep affection and respect for late DMK leader M Karunanidhi and whenever he came to Chennai, he would always call upon 'Kalaignar' and enquire about his health, Stalin said, adding, Jethmalani also shined as member of both houses of Parliament. “His death is a great loss to the country,” added Stalin.
The PMK founder-leader Dr S Ramadoss, expressing deep pain and shock at the death of one of India's outstanding lawyers, Ram Jethmalani, in his condolence message recalled the heroic role the latter had played in opposing the Emergency and how Jethmalani, despite moves to have him arrested, had managed to leave for Canada and continued his civil liberties battle from there. Jethmalani's life as a lawyer from a young age and his political life was a brave saga in public life which no historian could ignore. For poor people, Jethmalani took up their cases free. He had argued in many important cases including for the revocation of the death penalty on the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts and later in legal efforts to set free all the seven life-convicts in that case, Ramadoss pointed out.