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Why Do You Ask When I’ll die, Jethmalani Asks Supreme Court

It's rare for a professional to last into his nineties without age dimming the mental faculties. But 93-year-old Ram Jethmalani continues to go strong in his age-defying stint in the legal profession.

Finding Jethmalani representing advocate MM Kashyap, who is facing eviction from the chamber allotted to him by the Supreme Court, a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur asked, "When are you going to retire?" Without batting an eyelid, the nonagenarian sought an elaboration of the question by asking, "Why is my lord asking when I am going to die?" The bench's inquisitiveness about Jethmalani's professional longevity evaporated with the unparalleled criminal lawyer's invocation of death.

Kashyap was ordered to be evicted from the lawyer's chamber in 2006 on being found to be involved in an alleged case of cheating. But he was allowed to operate from the chamber on an undertaking that he would vacate if he was convicted in the case. Kashyap entered into a compromise and paid money to the complainant to get the case compounded. Compounding of a case is equivalent to acquittal. But since he had paid money to get the case compounded, then CJI R M Lodha ordered his eviction in 2014.

The CJI-headed bench found Jethmalani maintain that Kashyap was innocent and that the eviction order was illegal. The court had ordered status quo on June 30, 2014 allowing Kashyap to use the chamber allotted to him.

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