Arun Jaitley is Senior BJP leader and Union Minister of Finance, Corporate affairs and Information & Broadcasting. He, currently Leader of House, Rajya Sabha in Indian Parliament, is a distinguished lawyer and prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In his prolific career as a lawyer and a political leader, he has held many important positions and made significant contributions in the areas of economic liberalisation, judicial reforms, electoral reforms and progressive social & economic legislations,
Between October 1999 – July 2002 and January 2003- February 2004, Shri Jaitley was Minister in the NDA Government at the Centre and held charge of the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting; Disinvestment; Law, Justice and Company Affairs; Shipping; and Commerce & Industry. He has been a member of the BJP National Executive since 1991 and held the posts of its General Secretary and Spokesperson.
As a Minister he pioneered the disinvestment programme in the country, helped usher in the new telecom policy, and brought about several legislative and judicial reforms. The Fast Track Courts together with the reforms in the Civil Procedure Code and the Criminal Procedure Code aimed at reduction of pendency of cases and faster disposal of cases were the highlight of his tenure as Law Minister. He also piloted comprehensive Company Law reforms and the law on Competition to bring the corporate legal framework in tune with the liberalisation and globalisation. On the personal law side, important changes were introduced in the law on divorce and compensation and the landmark law on domestic violence was also enacted. The 84th Constitutional amendment on Delimitation of Constituencies and the 91st Constitutional amendment on capping the size of the Council of Ministers and banning the legislators who defect from holding any Ministerial position were enacted during his time. The first comprehensive law against Terrorism i.e. POTA was passed in the Parliament for countering terrorism. He steered the Indian Negotiations at the WTO during the challenging days in the run-up to the crucial Ministerial meeting at Cancun in 2003. Under his leadership, significant breakthrough were achieved by the Indian negotiators by forging the new alliance of G-20 which effectively countered the US-EU lobbies and brought the agenda of the developing world to the centrestage.
Arun Jaitley was born on December 28, 1952 and completed his schooling from St. Xavier School, New Delhi. He graduated in Commerce from the Sri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi and obtained his LL.B from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi in 1977. He was designated as Senior Advocate in 1989.
He is the recipient of several distinctions for his outstanding performance both in academics and extra- curricular activities, including doctor honoris causa. He was President of the Delhi University Students Union in 1974 and during the Emergency, was under preventive detention for 19 months for his outspoken opposition to the draconian regime. Jaitley was a prominent member of the movement against corruption launched by Late Shri Jai Prakash Narayan in 1973.
He was selected for the outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the year 2010. He has written extensively in newspapers and periodicals, including articles on many issues of socio-economic, political and legal relevance. He has also delivered lectures on many important subjects like Money Laundering law, Streamlining Government Communication, Free Speech, Environmental issues & Climate Change, including current issues such as India's Next Decade during the Davos Summit 2015.