Ram Jethmalani will no longer represent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the civil defamation case filed against him by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Delhi High Court. Explaining his reason for quitting, Jethmalani alleged that Kejriwal “lied” in court when he said he had not instructed him to use an objectionable word while cross-examining the Finance Minister.
Jethmalani 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. ”
The CMO, too, denied receiving any information of a letter from the jurist. An official said, “We have no information regarding such a letter. If at all Jethmalani is saying so, it is a privileged communication.”
Jethmalani’s office added that a communication has been sent to Kejriwal to settle the dues, amounting to over Rs 2 crore, which the CM owes him. However, while speaking to the media, Jethmalani said, “Nahi dega, toh nahi dega (If he doesn’t pay, he doesn’t pay), I work for thousands of people for free.”
According to a PTI report, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he did not have any intimation about Jethmalani’s letter asking AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal to settle his over Rs 2 crore fee. “I have not heard anything about what Jethmalani has said,” Sisodia said.
Jethmalani also said that he wasn’t “disappointed” with Kejriwal. He said, “I am not disappointed about one crook who is going to jail, one who is going outside. Pura duniya bhara hua hai with crooks. (The entire world is full of crooks).”
Jaitley had filed a Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and other AAP functionaries. He had also objected to the use of a certain word against him by Jethmalani.
Later, when Jaitley asked Jethmalani if the word had been used as per instructions from Kejriwal, the latter replied in the affirmative.
Reportedly, in a letter to the CM, Jethmalani had maintained that Kejriwal had used even more offensive language against Jaitley during private discussions on the case.
In response, Jaitley filed a new Rs 10 crore defamation case against Kejriwal over the use of the objectionable word.
Kejriwal responded by filing an affidavit stating that there was no instruction from him to his counsel to use objectionable remarks against Jaitley in the defamation case.
Earlier, the Delhi government had cleared a payment of Rs 3.5 crore to Jethmalani, which included Rs 1 crore as retainer and Rs 22 lakh as fee for each appearance in court even before the cross-examination stage was over.