NEW DELHI, Sept 8 - Eminent jurist and former Union minister Ram Jethmalani, who fought some of the most difficult criminal cases and defended the accused in the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi assassination cases, passed away on Sunday at the age of 95.
Jethmalani breathed his last at 7.45 am at his official residence in New Delhi. He was not keeping well for a few months, his son Mahesh Jethmalani told PTI. He died a few days before his 96th birthday on September 14.
Besides Mahesh, the former Union minister is survived by his daughter based in the US. His other daughter Rani Jethmalani died in 2011 and another son Janak had also pre-deceased him.
Jethmalani served as Union Law minister and also as Urban Development minister during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee against whom he later contested the 2004 LS polls from Lucknow seat.
He also served as the Supreme Court Bar Association president in 2010.
Soon after the news of Jethmalani�s death came, tributes started pouring in with President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoling his demise.
�Saddened by the passing of Ram Jethmalani, former Union Minister and a veteran lawyer. He was known to express his views on public issues with his characteristic eloquence. The nation has lost a distinguished jurist, a person of great erudition and intellect,� the President�s Secretariat tweeted.
Naidu said Jethmalani was �one of the brilliant minds of Bharat� and the nation has lost �a distinguished jurist, a great intellectual and a patriot, who was active till his last breath�.
Modi said Jethmalani was �witty, courageous and never shied away from boldly expressing himself on any subject�.
�In the passing away of Ram Jethmalani Ji, India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure who made rich contributions both in the Court and Parliament,� the Prime Minister tweeted.
Home Minister Amit Shah said he was �deeply pained� to know about Jethmalani�s demise and described it as an �irreparable loss� to the entire legal community.
Attorney General K K Venugopal said the country has lost its �finest lawyer� who was bold and handled the most sensational criminal cases and constitutional matters. � PTI