The Delhi High Court on Monday has refused to hear plea that has been filed to restrain the AAP from paying Rs 1.22 cr to lawyer Ram Jethmalani as his fee for appearing on behalf of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the court in a defamation case filed against him by Union Minister Arun Jaitley, according to PTI reports. A bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra that the issue that has been raised was already pending before the Lieutenant Governor. The bench said, “If the authorities concerned are not taking any action against the issue raised by you, then only you can move the court. The LG is already seized of the issue. Therefore, there is no need for interference by this court.” They further said that the petitioned filed is a ‘waste’ of the courts time.
The plea was filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who withdrew his plea after the statement by the bench.
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The issue surfaced when Delhi L-G Anil Baijal reportedly sought Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar’s advice in clearing bills of Ram Jethmalani, who has been fighting for AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case against Arun Jaitley in a city court. In this regard, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had sent a note to the Delhi law department in December to release the appearance fee of Jethmalani.
Earlier in the month, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had accused the Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal of looking to steal public money by making the common man in Delhi pay for his personal expenses – Kejriwal stands accused of wanting to use the taxpayers’ money to pay almost Rs 4 cr to eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani for a defamation case that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has slapped on him. Saying that the Delhi CM is being quite unethical in looking to evade making the payment out of his own pocket, Javadekar virtually accused him and the AAP of planning a scam to steal public money.