New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who passed away on Sunday after a prolonged illness. Calling him an exceptional lawyer and iconic public figure, PM Modi said that Jethmalani made rich contributions both in the Court and Parliament.

“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,” tweeted PM Modi.

He asserted that one of the best aspects of Jethmalani’s was the ability to ‘speak his mind’. “During the dark days of the Emergency, his fortitude and fight for public liberties will be remembered. Helping the needy was an integral part of his persona,” Modi added. (Ram Jethamalani Passes Away: Leaders Across Party Lines Pay Tribute to Noted Supreme Court Lawyer)

Expressing condolences to his family, Modi said, “I consider myself fortunate to have got numerous opportunities to interact with Shri Ram Jethmalani Ji. In these sad moments, my condolences to his family, friends and many admirers. He may not be here but his pioneering work will live on! Om Shanti.”

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s office also expressed grief over the renowned juris. Referring him as a ‘dear friend’, Naidu, said, “Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Shri Ram Jethmalani, former Union Minister, a legal luminary & one of the brilliant minds of Bharat. In his passing away the nation has lost a distinguished jurist, a great intellectual & a patriot, who was active till his last breath.”

Ram Jethmalani served as the Law Minister twice under Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led governments, was one of the highest-paid lawyers. On September 9, 2017, he announced his retirement from legal profession. He is survived by his son, Mahesh Jethmalani, a noted lawyer and a daughter.