Ranjana Roy Gawai
The nation knows Mr. Jaitley as an astute politician, brilliant orator, and Senior Advocate, par excellence. Few know him as a person who had the knack for recognising and promoting talents from varied walks of life. Of the many, I have been a beneficiary of his mentoring in my brief stint with him during his active years in the legal profession between 2003 till mid-2009.
A great personality like him had different ways of mentoring. I still remember my first briefing with him in Ramada Plaza matter where the issue involved was the right of preference shareholders in management in case of non-payment of dividends for two consecutive years. He heard me on facts and on law and with his midas touch we were able to succeed in that case. After that interaction, he recognized and appreciated my efforts before members of the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court Bars. This small gesture on his part, towards a young professional, at a time when I was still struggling to create an identity for myself, not only put me in good light amongst members of the fraternity but also inspired me to take myself seriously and prepare for every case in all earnest. Thereafter, there were a series of high profile matters, where I had the good fortune of working with him. His unique style of first explaining the overall case to the judges without referring to documents and then proving his points along with reference to documents and precedence always created lasting impression and interest.
I was deeply saddened to hear of Mr. Jaitley’s untimely demise and in fact, at that time, I had no words to express my grief except to convey to Rohan, who is my professional colleague in few legal matters, that my thoughts and prayers were with the family.
Millions have mourned for this gentle and humane individual. May this divine soul rest in peace.
Ranjana Roy Gawai is founder and Managing Partner of RRG & Associates which specialises in high stake and complex litigation of leading corporates, PSUs & MNCs.