Home News Reports Making taxpayers pay Kejriwal's legal expenses, all you need to know

Making taxpayers pay Kejriwal’s legal expenses, all you need to know

Even though the Delhi Government led by AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal rules over one of the smaller territories in the country, it hasn’t prevented them from creating large controversies at almost regular intervals.

Only last week we had reported how they were put in the dock by Delhi’s LG (Lieutenant Governor) for misusing the Delhi taxpayers’ money while putting out advertisements. Now there is a new controversy of misusing taxpayers’ money.

As reported by news portal KhabarE, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wants the Delhi taxpayers to pay the legal expenses incurred by him, arguably in a personal capacity, for fighting the defamation case filed by BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

- Advertisement - - article resumes -

In case, you haven’t followed the controversy, here is a summary:

Q: What is this whole issue about?

Ans: BJP leader Arun Jaitley, in December 2015, had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and 5 others for what he claimed were false allegations regarding his alleged role in certain irregularities in the DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association). Jaitley sought compensation of 10 crore rupees due to damages caused by alleged defamatory statements by Kejriwal.

In the court, Kejriwal was represented by noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani. Jethmalani, in some media interviews, had claimed that he will fight the case for free, charging a token money of just one rupee, even though his professional fees are pretty high.

However, documents available with some in media reveal that so far Jethmalani has billed Kejriwal a whopping Rs 3.42 crores. Out of these, Rs 1.22 crores have been directed to be paid from the exchequer of Delhi government:


Q: So what is wrong in it?

Ans: Arun Jaitley had filed the defamation against Kejriwal in a personal capacity and thus many experts argue that Kejriwal should defend the case in personal capacity too, because the case has been filed against the individual and not the Delhi Chief Minister. Kejriwal is understood to have issued those statements in capacity of a politician, not as a public officer.

Though having said that, legal experts believe that invoking section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code would have allowed Kejriwal to turn this into a matter involving the Delhi CM, which he didn’t do.

Documents with the media further suggest that on 21st December 2016, Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, had directed the General Administration Dept led by Gopal Rai to pay the legal bills as and when Ram Jethmalani sent them. Curiously in the letter, Sisodia also mentioned that this concerned file need not be sent to the LG for approval. This is being interpreted as a fear that the LG might have rejected the proposal as they were in contravention of rules.

Q: Why had Jaitley filed a defamation case against Kejriwal?

Ans: Kejriwal and his fellow party members had alleged that for the 13 years, when Jaitley was the chief of the DDCA, the body was involved in irregularities. Jaitley was accused by AAP leaders of directly or indirectly giving consent to massive corruption in the cricket body.

They alleged that additional expenditure of Rs 90 crore was incurred on renovating the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium and that fake companies were setup by DDCA officials to siphon off money. They also alleged that there were irregularities even in team selection by the DDCA like forging age certificates and that players selected were of Jaitley’s personal choice. Jaitley had received support from cricketers like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, and Virat Kohli at that time, however Kejriwal continued to claim corruption and irregularities.

All this irked Jaitley, and Kejriwal and others were put on trial on 25th March this year in a criminal defamation case. Ram Jethmalani had asked some rather ridiculous questions to Arun Jaitley as part of the proceedings, about which we had earlier reported.

Q: What is Ram Jethmalani’s response to this controversy?

Ans: Ram Jethmalani had claimed that he only charges the rich and works for free for the poor, though he had also claimed that he will be working pro-bono for Kejriwal. He doesn’t appear to have clarified when did his plan of offering his services free of cost change (leading him to send the bills to Kejriwal), but now he is saying that he can still offer his services free of cost:

Interestingly as Jethmalani says he will ‘appear’ for free it raises the question about what will happen to his retainer fees of 1 crore rupees. Does it mean that he expects at least one crore to be paid?

Q: If Arvind Kejriwal loses the cases and he has to pay Jaitey 10 crores, would he make the Delhi taxpayers pay it too?

Ans: Very good question. Maybe yes, given how the Delhi government is justifying paying the current legal fee from the state exchequer.

Help Us Reach Every Indian, Please Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Advertisement

Big Story

80 doctors at the RG Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata have resigned demanding an apology from the Chief Minister for her remarks.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Read OpIndia.com's response to the defamation notice served by Swati Chaturvedi

That you have lost readership and your peers doubt you, is not our problem: Read our response to Swati Chaturvedi’s defamation notice

Recently, OpIndia.com got a legal notice from abusive media troll Swati Chaturvedi. At the onset, we would like to reiterate that such intimidatory tactics won't work with OpIndia.

Rahul Gandhi finally arrives in Parliament, but stays true to form and goofs up while taking oath as MP

A Lok Sabha official stopped Rahul Gandhi and told him that he has to sign the register after taking oath

Pakistani Twitter erupts in self-deprecating humour as their cricket team stares at imminent defeat

India registered its 7th consecutive win against Pakistan in Cricket World Cup tournaments.
NDTV's takes journalism to new heights by asking Rahul Gandhi how did he like his samosa

Rahul Gandhi got conned by his own men: Report says ‘Big Data’ head Praveen Chakravarty billed Congress 24 crores and is now absconding

A day prior to election results, Rahul Gandhi had reportedly even contacted UPA allies and offered to accommodate them in the cabinet.

Even as 700 doctors resign, TMC leader Abu Taher Khan Chaudhury accused of threatening doctors with rape and murder

There are videos circulating on social media which purportedly show the Trinamool MP from Murshidabad, Abu Taher Khan threatening the doctors at the institution. The politician, however, has denied all allegations.

Here is what you missed when the India-Pakistan match was on

News you may have missed due to the India-Pakistan match yesterday
India won by 89 runs in their WC match against Pakistan

India refuses to be mediocre and docile, if that is ‘cold hearted’ for this Guardian writer, so be it

Some people, who have clearly run out of issues to find faults, have come up with a brilliant demonstration of what Hindi Twitter knows as 'Naraaz Fufa'.

LokSatta and Karan Thapar scolded by Press Council of India for peddling fake news against the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

While Thapar maintained that his mistake of wrongly attributing quotes to Dr Mohan Bhagwat was bonafide, the PCI has taken a tough stand against Thapar.
PM Modi has not tweeted about the India Pakistan cricket match

Twitter diplomacy: Imran Khan made a thread on India-Pak world cup match but zero tweets by PM Modi

Cricket has always been part of ‘track 2 diplomacy’ so off-field events can’t be ignored.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

170,514FansLike
149,455FollowersFollow
69,765SubscribersSubscribe
Help Us Reach Every Indian, Please Share This Post