In a career spanning more than 70 years, eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani took on numerous cases that grabbed intense public and media attention.
Below is a brief account of the 10 high profile cases handled by Jethmalani.
1: KM Nanavati case
M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra
1962 AIR 605
Delivered on: 24 November 1961
The case that made Ram Jethmalani’s career was the infamous KM Nanavati case of 1959. The case involved a decorated Navy officer KM Nanavati, who killed his wife's lover Prem Ahuja. The case which attracted much media attention was tried before a jury which acquitted Nanavati owing to massive public sympathy towards him. However, the jury verdict in the case in favour of Nanavati was overruled and legislation was passed subsequently to abolish jury trials in the country. Jethmalani was hired by Prem Ahuja's sister to lead the legal team to help with the prosecution strategy.
2: Indira Gandhi assassination case
Kehar Singh & Ors v. State (Delhi Admn.)
1988 AIR 1883
Delivered on:- 3 August 1988
Jethmalani served as senior counsel for Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, who were convicted for the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. While he managed to secure a stay order on their execution orders, the duo was hanged to death a year later.
3: Harshad Mehta stock market scam
Harshad S. Mehta & Ors v. The State of Maharashtra
Appeal (crl.) 319-320 of 1996
Delivered on:- 6 September 2001
The renowned lawyer had appeared for Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker, who was accused of several financial crimes that took place in the Securities Scam of 1992. Mehta was involved in a massive stock manipulation scheme. He was convicted by the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court of India for his involvement in the scam to the tune of Rs 4,999 crore that took place on the Bombay Stock Exchange
4: Jessica Lal murder case
Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma v. State (NCT of Delhi)
Criminal Appeal No. 179 of 2007
Delivered on:- 19 April 2010
The prominent lawyer had argued for Haryana Congress leader and former Union Minister Vinod Sharma's son Manu Sharma in 1999 Jessica Lal murder case.
Sharma, who was sentenced to life imprisonment had shot dead Jessica, a bartender in Delhi for refusing him a drink. The Supreme Court had in 2010 upheld the Delhi High Court’s order awarding life sentence to Sharma.
5: Amit Shah - Sohrabuddin encounter case
Narmada Bai v. State of Gujarat & Ors
Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 115 of 2007
Delivered on:- 8 April 2011
Jethmalani had appeared for former Gujarat Home Minister and current Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the controversial Sohrabuddin encounter case that took place in the year 2006.
Union of India v. V. Sriharan @ Murugan & Ors
Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 48 of 2014
Delivered on:- 2 December 2015
The senior lawyer defended V. Sriharan, who was sentenced to death in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Jethmalani, during the course of hearing of the case in 2015 had courted a controversy by saying that the 1991 suicide bomb attack that killed Gandhi and 18 other was not a crime against India.
7: Jayalalitha disproportionate assets case
State of Karnataka v. Selvi J. Jayalalitha & Ors
Criminal Appeal Nos. 300-303 of 2017
Delivered on:- 14 February, 2017
Jethmalani had defended late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha in the disproportionate assets case worth Rs 66.6 crore.
8: Arvind Kejriwal vs Arun Jaitley defamation case
Arun Jaitley v. Arvind Kejriwal
Delivered on:- 12 December 2017
Jethmalani had appeared for Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case filed by late Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The controversial case hogged the limelight after Jethmalani decided to quit as Delhi CM’s counsel and asked for a bill of more than Rs 2 crore.
9: Kanimojhi 2G scam
CBI v. A. Raja
45 (A) 2009
Delivered on:- 21 December 2017
Jethmalani had represented late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi’ daughter and DMK MP Kanimojhi in the Rs 214-crore 2G spectrum case.
Delivered on:- 25 April 2018
Jethmalani had also argued for self-styled godman Asaram in a sexual assault case involving a minor girl in his ashram in Jodhpur in 2013. The self-styled godman was accused of sexually assaulting a girl while she was living in his ashram between 2001 and 2006.