Top Indian Politicians leaving their mark in Law

There is a deep connection between law and politics, these two identities cannot be separated from each other. Although law is a singular subject but it has varied dimensions which are intervened with democratic political subjects and plays a pivotal role in structuring the government. The interface between law and politics had been present in the world domain since ancient times. In India we find references to the Dharmashastras, like Manusmriti (200BC-200CE); Yajnavalkya Smriti (200-500CE); Naradasmriti (100BC- 400CE);Visnusmriti (700-1000CE); Brhaspatismriti (200-400CE); and Katyayanasmriti (300-600CE). These texts were often used for legal judgments and opinion. They dealt with the subject matter of dharma and were guidebooks on dharma with rules of conduct and rites. Similarly, the world had witnessed law from the time of 3000 BC in Egypt. Law is an inevitable subject for a society.

Few eminent lawyers who turned politicians and helped their political party to gain success and excel is structuring policies.


Subramanium Swamy

Son to Sitaraman Subramanian, a bureaucrat and Padmavathy a homemaker was not a lawyer by education. He has completed his doctorate degree in Economics from Harvard University and still teaches every summer session at Harvard two courses in Economics, one on mathematical methods, and another on China.  He entered politics in 1970 and stirred the national polictics by challenging Indira Gandhi’s Soviet influenced socialist planning. He has fought over 75 cases till now and he learned the nuances of law from eminent lawyers and now belongs to the elite group of lawyers.


Salman Khurshid

He is a senior advocate, eminent author and a law teacher. Salman Khurshid belongs to Indian National Congress. He started his political career in 1981 as an Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) under the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi. In 2011, he was made Cabinet Minister for Law and Justice, and Minority Affairs in the Government of India. Sons of Babur, a play written by Salman Khurshid, has received widespread acknowledgement and has also been translated into several languages.


Arun Jaitley

A senior advocate of Delhi High Court who is presently the Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs of NDA led BJP government. He graduated in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi in 1973. He passed his Law degree from the University of Delhi, in 1977. He was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student leader in the Delhi University Campus in the seventies and rose to be the President of the Students Union of Delhi University in 1974. Jaitley has always emerged as a strategic planner of the BJP, helping his party member Narendra Modi wins the assembly election in 2002. As the General Secretary, he managed eight assembly elections, which proved victorious for the BJP. He was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2012 for his third term.


Palaniappan Chidambaram

Chidambaram is a corporate lawyer who started his career with practice at the Madras High Court. By 1984 he was a senior advocate. His offices were in Chennai and Delhi. Eventually he became a practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court and other High Courts in India. P. Chidambaram is a highly qualified person. He is a member of one of thelargest and oldest national party of India, the Indian National Congress. The last two terms of the UPA government, led by the Indian National Congress party, have seen P. Chidambaram holding many important positions.



Prashant Bhushan

A prominent member of Anna Hazare’s campaign and later became one of the co-founder of Aam Adami Party in 2012. In April, 2105 after the Delhi elections, he was voted out from AAP and formed a new political movement called Swaraj Abhiyan. He was enrolled to study engineering at IIT-Madras but quit after one semester and decided to do a two-year BSc programme with Philosophy, Economics and Political Science in Allahabad. During this period Mrs. Gandhi’s election case was taking place, and attended the hearings both in Allahabad and the Supreme Court and knew that he is only seeing a small part of Law because this was a high profile case. These incidents made him to study law for next three years and enrolled himself as an advocate in 1983. And presently, he is noted for his use of public interest litigation (PIL) to support a number of causes related to corruption, environmental protection and human rights.

New Delhi: Union Minister for Human Resource Development and Communications and Information Technology, Kapil Sibal addresses the press after launching the Open Government Platform (OGPL), in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist (PTI3_30_2012_000186A)

Kapil Sibal

He is an Indian lawyer, politician, and government official who became a senior leader in the Indian National Congress (Congress Party). He was especially noted for his service as a cabinet minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government (2004–14). He studied in St. Stephens College, University of Delhi, then completed his degree in law from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and did MA in history as well. He joined the bar association in 1970. Afterwards, he attended the Harvard Law School where he enrolled for an LL.M. which he completed in 1977.] He was designated as senior lawyer in 1983. In 1989, he was appointed the Additional Solicitor General of India. In 1994, he was the only lawyer to appear in the Parliament, and successfully defended a Supreme Court judge during impeachment proceedings.

These are few names who had studied law and came into politics, but this isn’t new for any democracy around the world. India before Independence had Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallahbhai Patel who were lawyers and helped India to achieve Independence as well shaped the political scenario. This can be evidently seen in American democracy where many presidents had background of legal education. We see many lawyers being the part of political movement because they are trained to be leaders who have wide perspectives of understanding people’s outcry and mould the regulations within the legal limits to help the people of the nation.

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