In politics anything is possible. But all were surprised on Thursday evening when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and maverick lawyer Ram Jethmalani filed a joint compromise application in court to patch up their six-year-old fight. As per court records, BJP President Amit Shah and General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav met Jethmalani and expressed regret for expelling him from the party in November 2012 and decided to settle the case with him considering the services rendered by the veteran lawyer to the party.
But in politics, everything is not black and white. Statements made in the open are mostly half-truths and there is much that happens behind the curtains. Here too the same thing happened. According to the lawyers close to Jethmalani’s camp, the compromise deal was clinched after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reached Jethmalani’s Delhi home last week along with Jethmalani’s son and BJP leader Mahesh Jethmalani. Jaitley, who was a onetime disciple of Jethmalani profusely apologised for “all wrongs” that happened from his side for the past two decades. Insiders say that Jethmalani was yelling at Jaitley at the top on his voice and Mahesh was trying to pacify the agitated father. At last Mahesh somehow cajoled his father to end the six-year-old legal case challenging BJP of his unceremonious expulsion. Jaitley kept quiet right through the verbal barrage of the senior Jethmalani, repeatedly expressing his regrets, say the lawyers who happened to be around when closed door negotiations were going on.
Many lawyers associated with Ram Jethmalani say that they were not aware of the presence of either Amit Shah or Bhupendra Yadav! Anyway, the joint petition filed before the trial court in Delhi says Shah and Yadav met Ram Jethmalani. In the joint petition, BJP is represented by Jaitley’s nephew-lawyer Manik Dogra.
Why was Ram Jethmalani expelled from the BJP in November 2012?
In November 2012, Congress decided to appoint tainted Ranjit Sinha as the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), ignoring the then Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar. Ram Jethmalani was opposing Neeraj Kumar and supporting Ranjit Sinha. He accused the then Opposition Leaders in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj respectively, for supporting Neeraj Kumar, whose daughter was a partner in Congress leader Indian Premier League (IPL) Chairperson Rajiv Shukla’s cricket administration firms. Then Ram Jethmalani went ahead to many other issues and attacked Jaitley and LK Advani personally and then blamed BJP President Nitin Gadkari for “tolerating these scoundrels.”
After being expelled from the party, Jethmalani filed a petition in court citing his termination violated BJP’s guidelines and demanded Rs.50 lakhs as compensation. But Ram Jethmalani supported Narendra Modi when he was declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate and went to many public meetings to support him, while going to Amritsar to campaign against Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha elections of May 2014! Jethmalani was not afraid to dig deep into his dictionary of invectives while describing Jaitley in Amritsar, while supporting BJP in all other constituencies.
But after Modi made Amritsar-loser Jaitley the Finance and Defence Minister, Jethmalani lost his cool. He wrote a stinking letter to Modi in 2017, accusing “thankless” Amit Shah for “setting up witness” in his case against expulsion from the party.
Ram Jethmalani drew extensively from his dictionary of expletives while cross examining Arun Jaitley, who had filed a defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. But later Kejriwal mysteriously patched up with Jaitley, tendering an abject apology.
By 2016, Jethmalani again became a Rajya Sabha MP through Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). It is a known to all that Jethmalani only wanted to maintain his posh official residence in Akbar Road and parties don’t matter for him to enter Rajya Sabha. Jethmalani had declared Jaitley as enemy number one, after he lost the Law Minister’s post in Vajpayee Government to Jaitley. He even contested against Vajpayee in 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Then to maintain his Rajya Sabha seat, in 2006, Jethmalani entered as a nominated MP by the Congress Government and it is known to all that he waited hours in Janpath visitor’s room for a Sonia darshan. It is a million dollar question as to why Congress Government nominated Ram Jethmalani, the same person who represented Indira Gandhi’s killers in court. Then in 2012, Jethmalani managed a BJP seat from Rajasthan and in 2016 got RJD quota from his client Lalu Prasad Yadav to maintain his nostalgic Akbar Road official residence with allegedly five-star amenities.
It must be remembered that Jethmalani represented Amit Shah in many Gujarat encounter-related cases and was actively involved in saving Narendra Modi from the many Congress foisted Gujarat riot-and-encounter-related cases. At one point Jethmalani abused Jaitley, who handled these cases for “playing a double role” in leaking crucial details to his Congress handlers like Chidambaram, which appeared as breaking news in NDTV and Tehelka during the UPA regime. It is a known fact that then crooked CBI Director Ranjit Sinha was under the command of Ram Jethmalani.
Why then did BJP apologise to Ram Jethmalani all of a sudden yesterday?
Ram Jethmalani is now an RJD MP and his case against the expulsion from BJP has literally become hostile. No sensible Judge is going to agree with Jethmalani’s views. Then why did BJP President Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley went to his home and apologised? This is a million dollar question in BJP politics. These developments must have happened with the knowledge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who must have made this move to avoid a big nuisance before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in April/ May 2019.
Those in the inner circle of Jethmalani vouch that the veteran lawyer was trying to revive his main Black Money petition with some explosive info on a firm called Richmond Enterprises registered in Panama, who is an investor or a shareholder in a five-star hotel in Delhi, whose promoter was a late MP. Now the late MP’s wife, who is close to a Cabinet Minister, is running this five-star hotel in the heart of Delhi. Some say Jethmalani was thinking of filing some new PILs and a few Gujarat encounter PIL petitioners have met him recently.
Jethmalani has been in regular touch with Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, who are spearheading the campaign on irregularities in Rafale deal. Jethmalani stresses that the deal was initiated by Jaitley when he was the Defence Minister. Jethmalani’s point of view is that it is Jaitley who has put Modi into this Rafale chaos. Jethmalani has also been in touch with his friendly senior officers of Income Tax to get the details of Jaitley’s son, daughter and her husband’s Income Tax Return related details.
Some say it was a genuine patch up and that Mahesh Jethmalani would be chosen by BJP to the Rajya Sabha soon. Some say ailing Jaitley doesn’t want to fight with anyone and Amit Shah and Modi still have a soft corner for Jethmalani, who saved them from many cases hoisted by Congress in connection with Gujarat riots and encounter.
In a nutshell, we are summing up this article by saying that in Lutyens’s Delhi any kind of deal is possible.
BJP’s letter and the first page of joint application by BJP and Ram Jethmalani filed in the court are published below:
 BJP suspends Ram Jethmalani, says his remarks will only help Congress – Nov 25, 2012, India Today
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