Jethmalani, a fierce opponent in court but friend outside

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New Delhi–Veteran advocate Ram Jethmalini would make high-pitched arguments while defending his clients, but at the end of hearing turn as friendly as always with lawyers of the opposite side.

Recalling incidents, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde said there were always high-pitched arguments between Jethmalani and Senior Advocate G. Ramaswamy in the courtroom, but over a drink in the evening they would be like friends.

Quoting a famous line, “Do as men do in law, strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends,” Hegde said it defined the nature of Jethmalini. He might be competitive at work, but treated others as friends outside the court, he added.

“Jethmalini would say he will seek the assistance of Ramaswamy whenever he will face trouble in any legal matter,” Hegde remembered.

He was also friendly with junior lawyers and sometimes play badminton with them.

Hegde recalled how Jethmalini helped the son of Keher Singh, a convict in the Indira Gandhi assassination case, by offering him a job of clerk in his office.

Senior Advocate Indira Jaisingh said despite political differences they were good friends.

“Ram Jethmalini is no more, we belonged to the same town Shikurpur Sind. We had a common dream, to see India and Pakastan friends, that was his unfinished agenda, he was there for every one who needed him, including Afzal Guru. Our politics differed but we loved each other,” Jaisingh tweeted.

Expressing grief on Jethmalini’s death, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said: “My friend turned foe turned very good friend Ram Jethmalani passed away today at 95 years of age. Farewell friend.”

Jethmalani passed away on Sunday at his residence here. (IANS)

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