NEW DELHI: Various Bar associations in Delhi on Sunday condoled the demise of senior advocate and former union minister Arun Jaitley, saying he was a "stalwart", "helpful and a great human being" who always stood for the cause of lawyers, and his death was a huge loss for the profession.
The Bar Associations across the national capital are planning to hold seminars to carry forward his legacy and to "make the younger generation learn from his life".
Jaitley, 66, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on Saturday. He was undergoing treatment at the hospital, where he was admitted on August 9 following complaints of breathlessness and restlessness.
The Bar associations said Jaitley, who had started his practice from the trial courts, always supported various ventures of the bar and worked a lot for the legal fraternity.
Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) president, senior advocate Mohit Mathur who was also from the same school where Jaitley studied, said it was a "personal loss", while remembering him as "very helpful and a stalwart".
"He was a leader of the Bar and a stalwart. He was always helpful for lawyers and people in general. It's very recently when we approached him for a lawyers' welfare association and he helped us wholeheartedly.
"It was a personal loss for me. He was from the same school, where I went to study later. Whenever we organised anything on behalf of the school alumni association, he used to participate and help us out very enthusiastically," he said.
Advocate Naresh Chand Gupta, president of Tis Hazari Bar Association, said Jaitley started his legal profession from the Tis Hazari district court and always fought for the cause of trial courts' lawyers.
"Arun Jaitley was a good person. He did a lot for lawyers and everyone respected him. He did a lot for the welfare schemes of the lawyers at the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court too. I met him thrice with various issues of the bar and he always supported various ventures of the bar. It is a great loss for the legal fraternity. It is as if we lost on of our hands," he said.
Advocate Karnail Singh, president of Saket Bar Association, said the former union minister was a "great human being, leader, lawyer and politician".
"Arun Jaitley did a lot of work for the legal fraternity. He introduced the lawyers' welfare fund during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee's regime. As a finance minister too, he was always there for the cause of the lawyers. When GST was introduced, I, along with representatives of other bar associations, met with him regarding GST on lawyers' income. He guided us and resolved the matter. It was applicable for corporate lawyers and big law firms," he said.
New Delhi Bar Association's Secretary Nagendra Kumar said Jaitley's demise has created a "vacuum" in the legal fraternity and was a "huge loss" for the profession.
He also stressed on holding seminars to highlight his works for the younger generation "who have heard a lot about him but were not fortunate enough to see him arguing before the courts and learn".
R K Wadhwa, Chairman of the Coordination Committee of All Bar Associations of Delhi, said that seminars will be held to highlight Jaitley's work and life so that young lawyers can learn from him.
"He was a great lawyer. His untimely demise is very sad for the entire country, especially for the legal fraternity. He was a wonderful lawyer, politician but above all a great human being," he said.
"We will be holding seminars highlighting his work so that young lawyers can learn about him. The real tribute to him will be making young budding lawyers learn from his work," Wadhwa said.
Advocate ADN Rao, president of NGT Bar Association, also condoled the demise of Jaitley saying, "It's an irreparable loss. He has been snatched immaturely."
Mathur also said the Executive Committee of DHCBA will meet and decide to hold programmes in Jaitley's honour.
Jaitley was a 1969-batch student of St. Xavier's Senior Secondary School.
Advocate Sanjeev Nasiar, former president of Tis Hazari Bar Association, said it was a matter of great pride for members of the Bar association that Jaitley started his legal profession from district courts and became one of the great politicians and legal personalities of the country.
"We will remember for ages the love he showered upon the bar and the lawyers. He played a major role in getting the Act passed for setting up of the Welfare Trust for lawyers," he said.
The Advocates Welfare Fund Act was passed in 2001 during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government when Jaitley was the law minister.
Nasiar said Jaitley had enhanced the pecuniary jurisdiction of the district courts from Rs 20 lakh to Rs two crore.
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, a former office-bearer of DHCBA, said, "I feel pained to hear about the sad demise of Arun Jaitley. He was a magnificent person, phenomenal lawyer, an accomplished politician and a great leader, who achieved unprecedented success both in the legal and political life. He never walked alone; always with his team.