New Delhi: Ram Jethmalani, who passed away on Sunday at 95, represented several high-profile and controversial for which he attracted severe criticism. Many of his defences involved people involved in scams, criminals, gangsters, smugglers etc. His clients included the likes of LK Advani, Amit Shah, BS Yediyurappa, Manu Sharma, Harshad Mehta, Ketan Parekh, Haji Mastan etc.
Here are some of the high-profile and most controversial cases contested by the late lawyer.
- Harshad Mehta scam: Stockbroker Harshad Mehta, one of the accused in the Securities Scam of 1992, was convicted in only four out of 27 criminal charges brought against him, before his death in 2001 at the age of 47.
- Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: In 2015, while defending convict Murugan, Jethmalani argued in the Supreme Court that the former Prime Minister’s assassination was not a ‘crime against India’.
- Indira Gandhi assassination case: In 1988, he got a last-minute reprieve from execution, from the Supreme Court, for the two bodyguards of Indira Gandhi, who had assassinated her in 1984. They were eventually hanged in 1989.
- Hawala case: In 1997, the-then BJP president LK Advani was absolved of all charges, in the 1996 Hawala scandal, by the Delhi High Court.
- Jessica Lall Murder case: In 2010, Jethmalani was unable to overturn in Supreme Court, the 2006 conviction by the Delhi High Court, of Manu Sharma
- Sohrabuddin fake encounter case: In 2014, the Bombay High Court discharged BJP leader Amit Shah from the case. Later that year, Shah went on to become the BJP national president, a post he still holds; he is also the current Union Home Minister
- 2G Spectrum case: In December 2017, the Delhi High Court acquitted DMK leader Kanimozhi of all the charges against her.
- Arvind Kejriwal vs Arun Jaitley: Represented the Delhi Chief Minister in the defamation case filed by the late Finance Minister over Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) corruption allegations; later, however, Kejriwal apologised to Jaitley to settle the case
Besides these, he has also defended Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, yoga guru Ramdev, convicted godman Asaram, later former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa etc. in their respective cases.