November 20, 2006

Devils' Advocate

Some questioned the propriety of Ram Jethmalani accepting Manu Sharma’s brief in the Jessica Lal murder case since he was once asked for legal advice by the victim’s sister Sabrina. Actually, this is not the first time Jethmalani has shifted from one side to another in a controversial case, writes Coomi Kapoor in her weekly column Inside Track in The Indian Express.
The Akali Dal consulted Jethamalani in the cases against the Badal family for corruption and disproportionate assets. Subsequently, Jethmalani accepted a brief on behalf of the Punjab Government. He withdrew only after protests from the Akalis.
In the Bofors case, he assisted the prosecution by coming to the aid of interveners in both, the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court. At a later stage, Jethmalani appeared as the defence counsel for the accused Hinduja bothers. In the hawala case, he drafted the PIL for the petitioners, Vineet Narayan and Rajinder Puri, demanding that all those named in Jain’s diaries be prosecuted.
Subsequently, he defended L K Advani, one of the accused named in the diary.

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