Former Union minister and eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani was a mentor to juniors and someone who fought for various causes and not money, lawyers said on Sunday while condoling his demise.
Some of the lawyers, who in the past worked with Jethmalani, described him as an 'icon and legend of the law', and said his humility touched all the sections of society.
They described him as not just a versatile counsel, but someone who was patient and modest with everyone. Jethmalani, 95, died in New Delhi on Sunday morning.
"In Jethmalani's demise, the judiciary has lost a great jurist and a courageous lawyer. A truly versatile and multifaceted lawyer who excelled in all branches of law and
navigated seamlessly from judicial magistrates court to the Supreme Court," advocate Birendra Saraf said on behalf of the Bombay Bar Association
"His (Jethmalani) struggle and rise will always inspire the future generation of lawyers. It is a matter of great pride for the Bombay Bar Association that he was a member of our association and he even attended our sesquicentenary event recently," he said.
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare, who appeared in some matters against Jethmalani, said the senior counsel had a sharp mind and his legal acumen shall remain unmatched.
Advocate Laxman Kanal, who worked under Jethmalani in 1989, said he was bold, courageous and had a great grasping power.
"He shaped the lives and careers of several young lawyers. We, as juniors, could easily approach him for guidance. He was also involved in several charity works but rarely spoke about them or publicised them," Kanal said.
Advocate Dinesh Tiwari, who worked under Jethmalani from 1997 to 2008, said he was not only a great lawyer but also a mentor to junior lawyers.
"His absence is going to be felt in the legal field. He was always calm and composed while arguing cases and had also done several cases pro bono (for free)," Tiwari said.
Advocate Pranav Badheka, who also worked with Jethmalani, said he was a legend and an eminent jurist who was motivated and inspired by the causes and not money.
"His best quality was to patiently hear views of others and openly discuss any issue, legal or political. In court, he would never lose his patience and was extremely
witty," Badheka said.
Senior counsel Amit Desai said Jethmalani was an expert who straddled criminal and constitutional law like no other.
"The history of Indian criminal law is intricately intertwined with his contributions. The maverick and gentleman, whose humility touched all stratas of society, will be remembered as an icon and legend of the law," Desai said.
"He was a role model and inspiration for all. I was fortunate to meet him in August this year. Even in his illness he was well dressed, reflecting his zest for life, and greeted me with a strong handshake which showed his warmth and vigour," he said.