Union Minister Harsh Vardhan says defamation case against Kejriwal a private matter, posts ‘court documents’

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Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday challenged Arvind Kejriwal’s assertion that the defamation case against the Delhi chief minister was not a private private matter.

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Harsh Vardhan, who was the BJP’s chief ministerial face in 2013 assembly elections in Delhi, tweeted, “Court docs (Oct 2016) reveal the case is a private one. Asking taxpayer to bear expenses of Mr Kejriwal’s loose tongue is brazenly unethical. (sic)”

Kejriwal on Tuesday had asked why he needed to pay ‘from my pocket’ the exorbitant legal fee for noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani from the public exchequer for defending him in a defamation case.

Kejriwal made the remarks addressing a rally in north-east Delhi’s Seemapuri constituency. He said the controversy was created to “weaken” the AAP government’s fight against corruption.

“Who plays cricket here?” he asked pointing towards the crowd. “In Delhi there was massive corruption in cricket. You must have heard of DDCA. It was heavily corrupt. Youngsters used to come to me and complain that money is sought for selection.”

His deputy Sisodia too, while speaking to reporters outside his residence, had said the defamation case against Kejriwal was filed as he had launched a probe into “corruption” prevalent in the Delhi and District Cricket Administration (DDCA).

“When they challenged something which was being probed by the government then the lawyers bill has to be paid by the government. It was not Arvind Kejriwal’s personal case.

Sisodia also raised question over the timing of the issue being raked up.

“The case has been on for the last one and a half years. But why is it being talked about now? Because they have found themselves in a spot over the EVM controversy,” he said.

Amidst raging controversy, Jethmalani on Tuesday had said that he will not charge Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal if he could not afford his fees.

He said, “Jaitley has been a disaster for the nation just like Chidambaram. Chidambaram’s past has caught up with him. Soon Jaitley’s deeds will catch up with him too.”

The news came after Lt Governor Anil Baijal reportedly sought Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar’s advice in clearing bills of the top lawyer, who has been fighting for Kejriwal in a defamation case in a city court.

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