He was known as a brilliant speaker, a strategist for BJP and one who was capable of attracting friends
across the political spectrum.
He was born on 28 December 1952 in Delhi to Maharaj Kishen Jaitley and Ratan Prabha Jaitley. His
father was a lawyer and his mother was a housewife.
He attended St. Xavier’s School, Delhi from 1957 till 1969. He graduated with the honors degree in
commerce, BCom. from Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi in 1973 and later passed his LLB
degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, in 1977.
He was also among many activists who were under detention during the proclamation of Internal
Emergency when fundamental rights were suspended which lasted from 1975 – 1977.
He was made the president of the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the secretary of
the Delhi Unit in 1980, a short time after joining the party.
On 24 May 1982, he married Sangeeta, daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir finance
minister Girdhari Lal Dogra . They have two children, Rohan and Sonali and both his children are lawyers.
Since 1987, he had been practicing law in the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts in India.
He was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Delhi High Court in January 1990.
He was appointed Additional Solicitor General in 1989 and did the paperwork for the investigations into
the Bofors scandal .
In June 1998, he was appointed as the Government of India's delegate to the United Nations General
Assembly Session which approved the Declaration on Laws Relating to Drugs and Money Laundering.
He appeared in various cases in India. He represented Pepsi in 2002 in Supreme Court of India while in
2004; he also appeared on behalf of Coca-Cola in a Rajasthan High Court case.
He formally joined the Hindu nationalist BJP in 1991 and became the spokesperson of the BJP during the
period preceding the 1999 general election.
On 13 October 1999, he was appointed Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and in
addition he was appointed Minister of State for Disinvestment.
In 2000, he was elevated to the rank of Union Cabinet Minister for the Ministry of Law, Justice and
Company Affairs and Shipping. He then served as the General Secretary of the BJP and its national
spokesman till January 2003. On 29 January 2003, he rejoined the Union Cabinet as the Minister of
Commerce & Industry and Law & Justice. He returned back to his legal career in 2004 and worked in the
On 3 June 2009, he was chosen as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha by L.K. Advani and
resigned from the post of General Secretary of BJP on 16 June 2009.
As the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, he participated in the debates on the Women's Reservation
Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
He also supported Anna Hazare in his 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement for the Jan Lokpal Bill.
On 26 August 2012, outside Parliament he said, "There are occasions when an obstruction in Parliament
brings greater benefits to the country." This statement was considered to have given legitimacy to
obstruction of the parliament in the contemporary politics in India.
That same year on September, he generated a controversy when he had warned the Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) on corruption cases involving Gujarat’s political leaders.
On 26 May 2014, he was selected by newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be the Minister of
Finance, the Minister for Corporate Affairs and the Minister of Defence, in his cabinet.
In September 2016, he announced the Income declaration scheme.
It was during his tenure as the Finance Minister of India that the Modi Government demonetized the
₹500 and ₹1000 currency notes. The intention was stated of curbing corruption, black money, fake
currency, and terrorism from 9 November 2016.
On 20 June 2017, he reaffirmed that the roll-out of Goods and Services Tax (GST), which brought the
country under one GST regime, overseen by him as the finance minister was on track.
He had openly spoken on LGBT+ issues. He is known to have had argued that the 1861-era colonial law,
Section 377 should be scrapped and thus went against his party’s stance on homosexuality.
He cited his poor health as a reason for opting out of the formation of the new government and
effectively declined a role as a minister in the second term of Prime Minister Modi.
He breathed his last on 24 August 2019.
He was an attorney, a senior political leader in India, a senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India,
who introduced Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Oversaw India’s GST, demonetization and merger of
Railway budget with general budget.
He was Arun Jaitley.v