The war of words between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior counsel Ram Jethmalani over the use of the term ‘crook’ for Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has taken a new turn, with Jethmalani alleging that the CM had “used worse abuses” than that for the minister.
“When Arun Jaitley filed the first suit and criminal case, you naturally sought my services. Ask your conscience how many times you used worse abuses than a mere ‘crook’. You have hundred times asked me to teach this crook a lesson,” the lawyer said in a letter that he wrote to Kejriwal on July 20, a copy of which was uploaded on his blog.
The development comes close on the heels of the Chief Minister telling the Delhi High Court that he had not asked Jethmalani to use objectionable words against Jaitley.
“That with due respect, it is submitted that neither the answering defendant nor the counsel briefing the senior counsel gave instructions to the learned senior counsel to use the objectionable words… The answering defendant vide letter July 19, 2017 has conveyed to the senior counsel directly that no instructions to use objectionable words were ever given by him at any point of time to the learned senior counsel,” Kejriwal told the court in his reply to an application filed by Jaitley.
In his application, the Union minister alleged that he was being asked scandalous questions and attempts were being made to delay the proceedings in the Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit, which he had filed against Kejriwal and five Aam Aadmi Party leaders in 2015.
Acting on Jaitley’s application, the High Court Thursday asked Kejriwal to refrain from asking the Union Minister indecent questions and from using words like “crook”, which it said was “indecent, scandalous and abusive”.
Jethmalani’s letter also referred to Kejriwal’s letter to him and said, “If you think Jaitley will withdraw the suit on seeing this letter to me, do by any means settle with him. I will bear the consequences.”
The senior counsel said he will never appear for Kejriwal in any matter and asked the latter to “pay the settled fees for the first matter and nothing for the second”.
Earlier this week, Jethmalani had quit as Kejriwal’s counsel in the civil defamation case.
At the time, he had said, “The reason behind this is that he has spoken a lie. He has gone and said that he has not given me any instructions. He had given me instructions, I had recorded it… I have told him that I am no longer appearing. He doesn’t want a lawyer now, probably will settle with Arun Jaitley. ” Jethmalani’s office had added that a communication has been sent to Kejriwal to settle the dues, amounting to over Rs 2 crore, which the CM owes him.