Every budding lawyer in India looks at this one figure with respect, a lawyer that though not every one agrees with but at the same time looks at with revered admiration, the man who defies age with his sheer zeal and admiration towards a profession that he joined the age of 17 and kept at till the age of 94. This man persuaded the then Chief Justice of Sind to relax the rules that mandated that a lawyer to be at least the age of 21 to practice and lower it so that he, all of 17 years at that time could start his legal career. He had achieved this feat on account of being a bright student and earning a triple promotion in his school. Having originally practiced in Karachi, Mr. Jethmalani moved to Mumbai in 1948 for what can in the least be called an eventful career. Once in Mumbai, this exceptional lawyer came to the limelight having appeared in the very famous K.M. Nanavati vs. State of Bombay case which was the last jury trial in India. He did not represent any of the parties at that time rather was a young starting out lawyer hired by the sister of the deceased to look into the interests of the same. Mr. Ram Jethmalani also forayed into politics which wasn’t unusual rather just an extension of his passion towards the society and the capacity of law in improving it. He has served as Law Minister of India and also as Minister of Urban Development during the tenure of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He later went on to contest the general elections of 2004 against Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the Lucknow constituency. He has over the years run as a candidate for President, launched a political front as well as a political party and remains one of the most ferocious voices in the country. In the recent times he has been most critical of the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi openly voicing his concerns regarding the volatility in the nation and the undercurrents of division as a result of his tenure.
“THE MAN WHO DOES NOT PROCLAIM RIGHT FROM WRONG RATHER LEAVES CORRECTLY FOR THE COURT TO DECIDE”
Mr. Jethmalani is one of the most highly paid criminal lawyers in the country, dealing mostly in criminal cases demonstrating his uncanny expertise regarding cross examination of witnesses bringing to the light of the court facts and circumstances missed by the others. To say the least, this lawyer extraordinaire is not the messiah of idealistic justice that the common notion dictates, rather, he is a true believer in the edict of law that every accused deserves a fair representation in the court of law and it is upto the court to decide that whether the accused is guilty or not. This is one of the many traits that distinguish him from his peers, his nonchalant attitude that one should become a part of the legal profession believing in the capacity of law to deliver justice rather than giving in to the public notion of right and wrong. He has represented the killers of the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as well as Rajiv Gandhi, the Dalal street scammers Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh and Mr. L.K. Advani in the same case, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi, Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam case, the accused in Jessica Lal murder case, opposed the death sentence of Afzal Guru, therefore proving by example that lawyers should not become judges, should not choose the accused and guilty before taking up a case and represent every single client with the same determination irrespective of personal prejudices. These were the choice of cases that lawyers would have refrained from that this man took and showed with pride that the practice of legal profession is a skill that is not a jewel in the crown of populist justice rather than justice with regard to the judicial mechanism in operation. He changes the notion of everything is fair in love and war to being everything is fair in love and law. In front of this magnanimous personality, it is not right to comment of the righteousness of these choices in the least, however what we can proclaim with certainty is the fact that this man has lead a career so vividly interesting that it is the envy of any member of the legal profession.