Defamation case: HC refuses plea against Kejriwal for using taxpayers’ money

New Delhi [India], Apr. 17 : The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to hear a plea filed against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his bid to use taxpayers' money to pay his lawyer Ram Jethmalani's fees in a defamation case.

During the hearing, Kejriwal's counsel said the matter is being looked into by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal following which the court asked the petitioner to withdraw the case and come up with a fresh petition later.

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Senior Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra submitted that the issue was pending consideration before the Lieutenant Governor.

The Delhi High Court's acting Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra dismissed the petition filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava seeking directions to restrain the AAP Government from paying fees worth about Rs.

one crore and Rs. 22 lakhs to Jethmalani, who has been appearing for Kejriwal in the defamation cases filed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in DDCA scam matter.

Jethmalani had reportedly sent bills for Rs. one crore in retainership and Rs. 22 lakh for each appearance in court to the Delhi Chief Minister. Jethmalani has made 11 appearances so far, leading to a total of Rs 3.42 crore. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had signed off on the bills and sent them for clearance to the Lieutenant Governor.

However, Jethmalani had said that he would work for free if the AAP supremo cannot pay him his fees. "Even now if the government doesn't pay or he can't pay, I will appear free. I will then treat him as one of my poor clients," Jethmalani told ANI in an exclusive conversation..

Source: ANI