Renowned Supreme Court lawyer, Ram Jathmalani has said that he had quit the defamation case of Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal.
News agency ANI quoted him as saying, “I have quit the case of Arvind Kejriwal. He should release letter which I sent to him. Reason being he lied that he did not give me instructions, fact is he did. Fees nahi dega to koi baat nahi, main hazaaron logon ke liye free mein kaam karta hoon.”
This came a day after Kejriwal filed an affidavit in court stating that he had not instructed Jethmalani to call Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley a crook during a cross-examination on 17 May.
The cross-examination was being done in Rs 10 crore Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders that Jaitley filed in 2015.
Sources said that Jethmalani, in his letter to Kejriwal, had accused him of using even more offensive language against Jaitley during private discussions on the case, reported Times of India.
The report said that Jethmalani had asked Kejriwal to pay Rs 2 crore to settle his legal fees.
“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,” Jethmalani was quoted by TOI.
The Delhi government, meanwhile, has not confirmed the news of Jethmalani withdrawing from Kejriwal’s case.
In December 2015, Jaitley had filed a civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee, claiming that they made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
A fresh Rs 10 crore defamation suit was also filed by Jaitley against Kejriwal over his lawyer Jethmalani using the word “crook” during cross-examination of the previous defamation suit.
Jaitley, in the second civil defamation suit against Kejriwal, claimed the objectionable words caused him “permanent harm and disrepute”.