Arvind Kejriwal, the aam aadmi's chief minister, has once again courted controversy because he allegedly wants his people to pay for the bills raised by his lawyer Ram Jethmalani.
Ram Jethmalani, arguably one of the biggest legal eagles in the country, is defending Arvind Kejriwal in the civil and criminal defamation cases filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, another lawyer.
According to various reports, the bills raised by Ram Jethmalani while representing the Delhi chief minister in the courts stand at Rs 3.8 crore approx.
Jethmalani has reportedly charged Rs 1 crore in retainership and Rs 22 lakh per court appearance.
Given that the case has only reached the cross-examination stage so far--Ram Jethmalani cross-questioned Arun Jaitley in the defamation case last month--one can assume that it would be a while before the final verdict is announced.
Under such circumstances, Jethmalani, who is charging Rs 22 lakh per court appearance, could raise a bill that is likely to go beyond Rs 10 crore.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has slapped defamation cases on Arvind Kejriwal. Photo: PTI
On the other hand, Arun Jaitley in his civil defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal has sought Rs 10 crore in damages.
Arun Jaitley had filed the civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders in December 2015 for accusing him of financial bungling in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which he was the president for 13 years.
Following the fee controversy, Ram Jethmalani has said that he can offer his services free of cost to his "poor client", but there has been no word from the chief minister on the same.
If Arvind Kejriwal eventually decides to pay Ram Jethmalani his fee (Rs 22 lakh per appearance), he would possibly end up paying his lawyer more than he might pay Arun Jaitley as damages.
Ram Jethmalani is defending Arvind Kejriwal in the court.