Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday criticised the Delhi government’s move to pay fees of a lawyer representing Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case, saying no chief minister has ever burdened the exchequer to fight his own case. “I just can’t recall any other chief minister who has ever burdened the exchequer to save himself or promote himself,” he told reporters here, reacting to the city government’s move to pay around Rs 3 crore to top lawyer Ram Jethmalini.
Rijiju said the defamation case was slapped against Kejriwal for speaking against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “Whatever he had said about Jaitley ji was his own statement. So, why should the people of Delhi pay? Did the people of Delhi asked him to fight the case. Then why should people of Delhi pay now?,” he said.
Later, in a tweet, Rijiju said, “Public money for defending Kejriwal ji !! Already too much money is being used to advertise him (sic)”.
In December, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had asked for releasing appearance fee to Jethmalani who has been fighting the defamation case slapped against Kejriwal by Jaitley.
The amount of pending dues to Jethmalini is around Rs 3 crore and the Delhi Law Department had said why the Delhi government should foot the bills when the case is not related to city administration, sources said.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal is also learnt to have sought Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar’s advice in clearing bills.