Ram Jethmalani is one of the most celebrated lawyers of the Country.
He is 93 years old (born on 14th September 1923) but has the energy of a young person.
Even today, one can see Ram Jethmalani arguing matters in the Supreme Court and the High Courts, with full vigor and energy.
He is more than a match for his younger opponents, both in terms of physical energy as well as legal acumen.
Ram Jethmalani’s fees are an issue of great interest to everone, from budding lawyers to lay citizens. Everyone wants to know what Ram Jethmalani charges for each case that he handles for his clients.
This issue is answered in a definitive manner by the fees charged by Ram Jethmalani in the matter of defending Arvind Kejriwal in the defamation suit filed by Arun Jaitley in the Delhi Court.
Ram Jethmalani charged a retainer fee of Rs. 1 crore and an appearance fee of Rs. 22 lakh.
His total fees in the matter amounts to Rs. 4 crore.
There was a controversy over whether the Delhi Government should pay the fee or not.
Ram Jethmalani then stated that he will waive the fee and appear for Arvind Kejriwal free of charge.
In his younger days, Ram Jethmalani earned income which ran into tens of crore. He was a very busy lawyer with several important and high stake matters to argue in a day.
He was one of the highest taxpayers of the Country, with an income equivalent to that earned by other leading lawyers like Nani Palkhiwala, Fali Nariman, Soli Sorabjee etc.
Presently, Ram Jethmalani has substantially curtailed his practice. He appears in only a handful of matters in a year.
Also, several of the matters that he appears in are public interest matters (such as the Triple Talaq matter) where he does not charge a fee.
Nevertheless, given that Ram Jethmalani is still very much in demand by his clients for consultation matters, we can estimate that his annual income may still be a few crore.
Ram Jethmalani’s net worth will be close to Rs. 100 to 200 crore. He has been a leading lawyer for several decades (more than 60 years). He has charged heavy fees for the major part of his career and has been earning very substantial income. He has carefully invested his savings in blue-chip MNC stocks and real estate, both in India and in foreign countries.
The appreciation in the value of the blue-chip MNC stocks held by him as also the appreciation in the value of prime real estate makes his net worth of Rs. 100 to 200 crore very realistic.
There are several famous cases in which Ram Jethmalani has made his mark as a brilliant advocate.
His last reported judgement in that of the Supreme Court in State of Jharkhand Through SP, CBI vs. Lalu Prasad Yadav Criminal Appeal No. 394 of 2017.
Ram Jethmalani defended Lalu Prasad Yadav in the appeal filed by the CBI challenging the order of the Jharkhand High Court discharging Lalu Prasad Yadav from criminal conspiracy.
The appeal was decided against Lalu Prasad Yadav and he was held liable to stand trial for criminal conspiracy despite the best efforts of Ram Jethmalani.
Some of Ram Jethmalani’s earlier celebrated cases include the Harshad Mehta case, the Narasimha Rao bribery case, Asaram Bapu’s case, Jayalalitha’s case, Subrata Roy Sahara’s case, Kanimozhi (2G) case, Manu Sharma’s (Jessica murder) case, Baba Ramdev’s case etc.
Ram Jethmalani is presently busy arguing the important Triple Talaq matter in the Supreme Court. He is appearing on behalf of an organisation called Forum for Awareness of National Security (FANS) (an RSS affiliate) and is demanding a ban of the practice of Triple Talaq.
Ram Jethmalani presently does not accept any interns owing to his pre-occupation with politics and curtailment of practice.
However, when he was in active practice, he did have interns learning the ropes of legal practice in his Chambers.
Marriage and Wife
Ram Jethmalani had two wives named Ratna and Durga Jethmalani.
He married both before the introduction of the Hindu Marriage Act 1956 and so was legally entitled to have two living wives.
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1956 prohibits a Hindu from having more than one wife at a time.
Children – Mahesh and Rani Jethmalani
Mahesh Jethmalani, the son, is an accomplished lawyer in his own right. He has a very large practice in criminal law and is a much sought after lawyer by leading celebrities.
Mahesh Jethmalani also has a number of important cases to his credit. He is frequently seen arguing matters in the Bombay High Court.
Mahesh Jethmalani is married to Haseena. The couple jas a teenage daughter.
Rani Jethmalani, the daughter, was also a leading lawyer, focusing on PILs and social/ women issues. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago after bravely battling a prolonged illness of the liver.
On 9th September 2017, Ram Jethmalani announced his retirement from practice at a function organised by the Bar Council of India to felicitate new Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra.
#BREAKING Ram Jethmalani retires from legal practice.
— Republic (@republic) September 10, 2017
“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. I wish to combat the corrupt politicians that have been brought into the position of power and I hope the condition of India will take good shape,” he said.
— Vishal (@glahsiv) September 10, 2017