Jethmalani left a lasting impression on rule of law: CJI

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandradhud led top jurists and constitution experts in paying rich tributes to legal luminary Ram Jethmalani on his birth centenary on Friday, with many of them recalling anecdotes related to him.
Speaking at the “Ram Jethmalani Memorial Lecture”, hosted here by the Sunday Guardian Foundation and noted lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal recalled a meeting with Jethmalani senior when he had gone to invite him for an event in Bikaner.
“One of the conditions that he kept for me to accept my invitation was that I should play badminton with him. I was myself surprised to see him play so well,” said the minister, remembering him as a lively and brilliant person.
Meghwal said it was a matter of honour for him that he was occupying the office of law minister which once was graced by a luminary like Ram Jethmalani.
The CJI recalled the close ties between Jethmalani and his parents and also narrated anecdotes related to the several cases that he fought.
“He was a luminary who left a lasting impression on rule of law… someone who never gave up faith in the Constitution and law,” he said, remembering his wit and vigour.
“I am overwhelmed to be speaking about Ram Jethmalani. His legacy resonates in the hearts and minds of the people of India,” said the CJI referring to the fact that the legal expert had started practice at 17 itself.
The CJI admitted that the reforms that he was carrying out for transparent delivery of justice were inspired by Jethmalani. “The way I see it, he was not just concerned about what he found, he was more interested in whether he left it better than how he found it.”
Had he been here, he must have been giving suggestions for improvement, said the CJI.
Attorney General of India R Venkatramani recalled his interaction with Ram Jethmalani and said he had once advised me to keep liberty burning in the heart. “Be as positive about liberty and justice,” he had said.
Some of the cases Jethmalani appeared in his legal profession and that came up for mention during the event included — defending Indira Gandhi’s alleged assassins, defending Harshad Mehta in a stock market scam and the Narasimha Rao bribery case; defending Ketan Parekh in a stock market scam; appearing in a case involving Mumbai mafia gang leader Haji Mastan, defending L.K. Advani in the Hawala scam.

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