Former BJP member, advocate Ram Jethmalani has quit as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyer in the defamation cases filed against him by Union Minister Arun Jaitey.
A report in Times of India says that Jethmalani has sent Kejriwal a bill for Rs 2 crore for the same.
On Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told the Delhi High Court that there were no instructions from him to his counsel Ram Jethmalani to use objectionable remarks against Arun Jaitley. In a letter, reportedly written by Jethmalani to Kejriwal, the former has accused the latter of using even more offensive language in private conversations while referring to Jaitley.
During an earlier hearing, Jaitley had asked Jethmalani if his remarks had been made with the CM’s permission. When he received a reply in the affirmative, Jaitley filed another defamation case against Kejriwal.
While Kejriwal’s office told the newspaper that they were not aware of Jethmalani’s withdrawal, the latter is quoted saying: “Kejriwal has written a letter to me. I have replied to that. I am not going to divulge the details of either of the letters. You ask Kejriwal to make public both the letters. I have promised him not to make it public.”
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief earlier said that he has written a letter to Jethmalani to refute his claim that objectionable words were used in the proceedings before the Joint Registrar on May 17 as per his instructions.
In his affidavit, Kejriwal said it was "inconceivable that he would even think of instructing the senior counsel to use such objectionable words."
The Chief Minister denied the charge of Jaitley that the questions with derogatory remarks were "clearly designed to insult and/or annoy" him.
Kejriwal said that he has even instructed his counsel on record, Anupam Srivastava, to remind Jethmalani that no such instructions were issued to him in his meeting with him.
Jethmalani, during the May 17 proceedings, had claimed that the words were used by him in pursuance to instructions received from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo.
"That with due respect it is submitted that neither the answering defendant (Kejriwal) nor the counsel briefing the senior counsel (Jethmalani) gave instructions to the senior counsel to use the objectionable words on May 17, 2017," the affidavit filed before Justice Manmohan said.
The cross-examination of Jaitley by Jethmalani on May 17 had witnessed heated exchanges between them.
Jaitley, who had filed the civil defamation suit claiming Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders, had filed another defamation suit of Rs 10 crore against the Chief Minister alone.
Due to the May 17 incident, the proceedings in the first lawsuit had been adjourned till July 28.
The BJP leader filed an application, through advocate Manik Dogra, to expedite the recording of evidence in an orderly and fair manner in the first Rs 10-crore defamation suit against Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders for allegations of corruption made by them against him.
The application for expedited hearing claimed that "numerous irrelevant and scandalous questions have been asked during the cross examination" of the Union minister and that "abusive and defamatory statements have been made" on the instructions of Kejriwal.
With PTI Inputs