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Eminent lawyer and former minister Ram Jethmalani passes away at 95

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New Delhi: Ram Jethmalani, veteran criminal lawyer and former Union Law Minister, passed away on Sunday morning at his residence in New Delhi. He was 95. According to reports, the lawyer had been on round-the-clock medical support over the past one week. His family told news agency PTI that he had not been keeping well for a few months. His son Mahesh Jethmalani added that his last rites will be conducted at the Lodhi road crematorium in New Delhi on Sunday evening.

Though he was primarily known as a criminal lawyer – one of the highest paid in India – Jethmalani appeared in many high profile cases. Among the noted ones are defending the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi case in the Madras High Court, defending the death sentence given to Afzal Guru – convicted in the attack on Parliament in 2001 – and representing Manu Sharma, the prime accused in the Jessica Lal murder case.

He also appeared for the defendants in the Indira Gandhi assassination case, Harshad Mehta stock scam case, Ketan Parekh case; he was LK Advani’s defence lawyer in the hawala case, Jayalalithaa’s defence lawyer in the disproportionate assets case, Kanimozhi’s defence in 2G scam trial, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s defence in fodder scam case, BS Yeddyurappa’s defence in the mining scam case, among several others.

The senior lawyer had also dabbled in politics, and won the general elections in 1980 on a BJP ticket from Mumbai. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha. In 1996, he became the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government. He held the portfolio during Vajpayee’s second term as well, after which he was then asked to resign. Between June 1999 and July 2000, he served as the Minister of Law and Justice before which, from March 1998 to June 1999, he was the Minister of Urban Development. Later, he went on to unsuccessfully contest against Vajpayee from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency in 2004. In 2010, the BJP gave him Rajya Sabha ticket.

Several lawyers, politicians and journalists condoled the veteran lawyer’s death.

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Sachin Pilot sacked as Deputy Chief Minister, also removed from party post

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After the rebellion of Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan and Monday’s efforts of Manmunwala, the party high command has dismissed Sachin Pilot as Deputy Chief Minister. He has also been removed from the post of party president.

In place of the pilot, Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara has been made the state president. Apart from Sachin Pilot, Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena have been dismissed from the cabinet.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala announced the removal of Sachin Pilot from the post of state minister as well as minister.

Surjewal said that along with the pilot, Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena are also being removed from the post of ministers. Surjewala said that the Congress MLAs were demanding action against Pilot.

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