Ram Jethmalani bill row: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has accused 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. Not stopping at that, the Union minister said that this was not a one-off case of wrongdoing and that Kejriwal was a habitual offender. The minister hit out at Kejriwal for actually asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for what is essentially a private case. Javadekar also said that it is quite unjustified to force Delhi citizens to pay this whopping bill. The minister tried to put Kejriwal in the corner by saying that the Delhi chief minister must pay Jethmalani from his own pocket.
The issue emerged on Monday after an English news channel Times Now revealed that Kejriwal had sought to pay the charges of his “personal” legal battles against several persons from the taxpayers’ money. The most famous case among all is his legal battle against lawyer and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani is representing Kejriwal in his fight against Jaitley. After the revelation, Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday said he will treat Arvind Kejriwal as his ‘poor client’ if the Delhi government ‘can’t pay’ his remuneration for fighting for the Chief Minister in a defamation case in a city court. Mentioning that he will appear for Kejriwal for ‘free’, Jethmalani accused Arun Jaitley of ‘instigating’ the row over multi-crore fees reportedly charged by the lawyer.