Senior lawyer and jurist Ram Jethmalani died at his home in Delhi on Sunday. He would have turned 96 on September 14.
Jethmalani was the country's top lawyer in his time, appearing in landmark cases: from the K M Nanavati versus State of Maharashtra case in 1959 to the 2G spectrum allocation scandal in 2011. He defended former deputy prime minister L K Advani's in the hawala scam and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley.
He was the union law minister and in the National Democratic Alliance government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Jethmalani was unwell and died at 7.45 am, his son Mahesh Jethmalani told news agency PTI. He will be cremated this evening at the Lodhi Road crematorium in Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Jethmalani "an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure". "He was witty, courageous and never shied away from boldly expressing himself on any subject," he said on Twitter.
In the passing away of Shri Ram Jethmalani Ji, India has lost an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure who made rich contributions both in the Court and Parliament. He was witty, courageous and never shied away from boldly expressing himself on any subject. pic.twitter.com/8fItp9RyTk— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 8, 2019
Vice president Venkaiah Naidu called Jethmalani a "legal luminary". "In his passing away the nation has lost a distinguished jurist, a great intellectual & a patriot, who was active till his last breath," he said on Twitter.
Home Minister Amit Shah visited Jethmalani's home to pay his respect.