I was born on December 28, 1952 to Maharaj Kishen Jaitley and Ratan Prabha Jaitley. My father was a lawyer. I did my schooling at St. Xavier’s School, New Delhi from 1960-69. I graduated in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi in 1973 and passed my Law degree from the University of Delhi, in 1977. I was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student activist in the Delhi University in the seventies and became President of the University Students’ Union in 1974.
I am currently a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat. Since 26th May 2014, I am a Minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. I am currently looking after the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. I was also the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India for a few months.
I got Married to Sangeeta Dogra on May 24th 1982, and am the proud father of a son Rohan and a daughter Sonali.
I have been a member of the national executive of Bharatiya Janata Party since 1991. On 13 October 1999, in the Vajpayee Government, I was appointed Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge). I was also appointed Minister of State for Disinvestment (Independent Charge), a new ministry created for the first time to give effect to the policy of disinvestments. I also took additional charge of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs on 23 July 2000. Later, I became a Cabinet Minister in November 2000 and simultaneously took charge of the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping. I was chosen as the Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha on 3 June 2009.
After obtaining LL.B., I have been practising law before the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts in the country since 1977.
In January 1990, I was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Delhi High Court. I was appointed Additional Solicitor General in 1989. I was a delegate on behalf of the Government of India to the United Nations General Assembly Session in June 1998 where the Declaration on Laws Relating to Drugs and Money Laundering was approved.
During the period of proclamation of Internal Emergency (1975-77) when civil liberties were suspended, I was also placed under preventive detention first in the Ambala Jail and then in the Tihar Jail, Delhi. In 1977, being the convener of the Loktantric Yuva Morcha at a time when the Congress suffered a humiliating defeat in the General Elections, I was appointed the president of the Delhi ABVP and All India Secretary of the ABVP. Later, I headed the youth wing of the BJP as its president.