BJP leader Ram Jethmalani at Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal New Delhi 161116

Ram Jethmalani, a notable jurist, and formed BJP leader announced his retirement on Saturday from over seven-decade-long-career as an advocate. He termed the current status of governance as a “calamity” and said he would continue to fight corrupt politicians.

Jethmalani, who will turn 94 on September 14, made the announcement at a function held by the Bar Council of India to felicitate Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Saturday.

“I am here just to tell you I am retiring from the profession but I am taking on a new role as long as I am alive,” he said at the function.

Earlier this week, Jethmalani had informed the Supreme Court, while mentioning a service matter to Justice Kurian Joseph that it was his last case and he would not take up any more legal case.

He claimed that the National Democratic Alliance government had let down the people just like its predecessor, the United Progressive Alliance.

“The country is not in a good shape. The previous and the current governments, both have let down the nation very badly,” Jethmalani said. “It is the duty of the members of the bar and all good citizens to rise to this great calamity.”

Jethmalani is widely acknowledged as one of India’s finest legal minds. He often drew attention for taking on sometimes unsavory defendants, a practice that earned him the sobriquet of ‘maverick’. He also served as the Law Minister and the Urban Development Minister in the Vajpayee Government.

He is touted as the highest paid lawyer in the country and has had quite a  political career as well. He was one of the founding members of the Bhartiya Janata Party and has been in and out of the party for several years. Currently, he is a member of parliament from the Rajya Sabha with the support from Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The luminary lawyer added that his doors will always remain open to young lawyers who are willing to learn and that he would help them in every way possible. He stated that he became a lawyer at the age of seventeen and that he knows what it’s like to be a young lawyer.

Recently, in a book launch, Jethmalani referred to himself as the unhappiest man in the country as he was truly disappointed with Modi Government’s performance.

This is not the first time that he has announced his retirement. Twelve years ago, he had placed a sign on the front door of his residence which read – “I am not accepting any new court matters but welcome for anything else.” However, he returned to the court to defend Jessica Lall murder accused (now convict) Manu Sharma. (According to Bar & Bench)

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