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American India Foundation expands reach

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Washington: The American India Foundation, dedicated to catalysing social and economic change in India, launched its eleventh chapter in the historic city of Philadelphia. The foundation is one of the largest development organisations in the US dedicated to helping poor and marginalised people in India.

AIF was founded by the initiative of former President Bill Clinton after the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake following a suggestion from then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Nearly a hundred people from the Greater Philadelphia region attended the event held at the downtown Loews Philadelphia Hotel Oct 2, according to the American Bazaar.

In the keynote address Al Jazeera America host Ali Velshi, whose great grandparents moved to Africa from Gujarat a century ago, recalled the struggles his forefathers had to endure in their adopted land.

He praised the work AIF is doing to provide opportunities the less privileged in the Indian society.

Chief guest Raj Gupta, chairman of the board of directors of Delphi Automotive, stressed the importance of philanthropic work organizations such as AIF is doing in the US and India.

“A dollar and 25 cents can make a difference,” he said, urging everyone to share their wealth.

AIF CEO MA Ravi Kumar spoke about the mission of the organization.

Other speakers included the chapter founding members Sanjay Gupta and Kavita Gupta, AIF Senior Director of Philanthropy and Development Venky Raghavendra, and Deepak Jolly, a vice president at Coca-Cola India.

Philadelphia being the city of firsts and with the huge potential that it holds, it is important to have a strong presence and chapter here,” Sanjay Gupta told the American Bazaar.

Greater Philadelphia region, comprising of City of Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware, is home to leading universities, businesses and a population that has strong ties to India. AIF hopes to tap these resources.

The ten other cities and regions AIF has chapters are Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New England, New York Tristate Area, Orange County, Richmond VA and Washington DC.

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10 Facts About The Most Famous Defense Lawyer of India

Ram Boolchand Jethmalani is better known as Ram Jethmalani. He was born 14 September 1923.

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Ram Jethmalani was a very bright student during his academic years, he obtained LL.B.degree at the age of 17. Wikimedia Commons
  • Ram Jethmalani was referred to be the highest-paid and the best defence lawyer of the Indian judicial system
  • Ram Jethmalani has often faced much criticism for taking up some controversial cases
  • On 10th September 2017, Ram Jethmalani announced his retirement from the judicial profession

Ram Jethmalani is considered to be the Best Criminal Lawyer in India and he has left his mark in Constitutional Law by defending the reservation in Supreme Court, fighting against eminent lawyers.

Ram Boolchand Jethmalani is better known as Ram Jethmalani. He was born 14 September 1923. Ram Jethmalani with his family moved to Mumbai from Sind after Partition. Ram Jethmalani is a well-known Indian lawyer and politician. He is also referred to be the highest-paid lawyer in the Indian judicial system.

As Ram Jethmalani was a very bright student during his academic years, he obtained LL.B.degree at the age of 17and started practising law in his hometown until the partition of India. Due to partition, he moved to Mumbai as a refugee and he began his life afresh with his family. He has two sons and two daughters, of whom, Mahesh Jethmalani and Rani Jethmalani. Both of them are also well-known lawyers.

Also Read: Raghuram Rajan: The Man Who Revolutionized The Indian Banking System

Ram Jethmalani has often faced much criticism for acting as the defence lawyer and taking up some controversial cases like Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh who had been sentenced to death for the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He has dealt with many high profile cases of the country like that of Shiv Bal Thackrey, Haji Mastan, alleged killers of Rajiv and Indira Gandhi, Lal Krishna Advani, NTR Rao, Osho, Harshad Mehta and many more.

Ram Jethmalani drew a lot of storm when he took up the case of Afzal Guru, who was the prime convict in the 2001 Parliament attack. Ram Jethmalani demanded the commutation of his death sentence. He was even approached by Dawood Ibrahim in the 90s to fight for him in Indian Court. But the case wasn’t taken up, as Ram Jethmalani wasn’t able to fulfil Dawood’s demand for no-arrest orders for him.

Ram Jethmalani has left his mark in Constitutional Law by defending the reservation in Supreme Court, fighting against eminent lawyers. Wikimedia Commons
Ram Jethmalani has left his mark in Constitutional Law by defending the reservation in Supreme Court, fighting against eminent lawyers. Wikimedia Commons

Ram Jethmalani was elected a member of parliament in the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Mumbai. During the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he has served as Law Minister of India and also as Minister of Urban Development. Although, later he contested election against Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the general elections of 2004 from Lucknow constituency. In 2010, he again joined BJP and was elected to Rajya Sabha on its ticket from Rajasthan.

Also Read: Interesting Life Facts About Dr BR Ambedkar

Finally, on 10th September 2017, Ram Jethmalani announced his retirement from the judicial profession.

Check out some of the facts about the life of one of the exceptional criminal lawyer of India:

  1. Ram Jethmalani has served as India’s Union Law Minister and also the chairman of the Bar Council of India. Ram Jethmalani was elected as the president of Supreme Court Bar Association on 7 May 2010.
  2. In 1971, Ram Jethmalani lost the general election he contested from Ulhsnagar (Maharashtra) as an independent candidate.
  3. Ram Jethmalani is considered as one of the key members of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The party was founded on 6 April 1980.
  4. Ram Jethmalani was an outstanding student in school and got a triple promotion when in school.
  5. Ram Jethmalani persuaded the then Chief Justice of Sind to pass a special resolution to relax the rules of law practising age. At that time, the mandatory age for a lawyer to practice was 21 years.
  6. In 1959, Ram Jethmalani’s famous case of K.M. Nanavati vs. State of Bombay case was among the last cases to be heard as a jury trial in India, as the government abolished jury trials soon after.
  7. Ram Jethmalani was expelled from BJP in 2013 for accusing the party of being “silent against high corruption”.
  8. Ram Jethmalani also launched his own party named ‘Pavitra Hindustan Kazhagam’, in 1995. The motto of his party was to achieve transparency in the functioning of Indian Democracy.
  9. Ram Jethmalani was given Political Asylum by the USA during Emergency. He garnered the support from Western Countries towards Indira Gandhi’s suppression of Personal Liberty during Emergency.
  10. Not many people know but Ram Jethmalani contested the Presidential Election in 1992. Although, he withdrew his name from the candidature list and still he got 3k votes.