04/04/2017 11:28 AM IST | Updated 04/04/2017 11:51 AM IST

Will Treat Arvind Kejriwal As 'Poor Client', Fight Jaitley Defamation Case For Free, Says Ram Jethmalani

Jethmalani has made 11 appearances so far in the case, leading to a total of ₹3.42 crore.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- Veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who is Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's counsel in the defamation case filed against him by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Tuesday said that he would work for free if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo cannot pay him his fees.

"Even now if the government doesn't pay or he can't pay, I will appear free. I will then treat him as one of my poor clients," Jethmalani told ANI in an exclusive conversation.

Venting his ire over reports suggesting that Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has sought Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar's advice in clearing the bills, the veteran lawyer said they are all in Jaitley's control.

Jethmalani further said that he charges only the rich clients.

"Everybody knows this in this country that I charge only the rich, but for poor people I do work free and the poor people are about 90% of my client," he said.

Jethmalani, who is defending Kejriwal in both a criminal and a civil defamation case filed by Jaitley, has reportedly sent bills for ₹1 crore in retainership and ₹22 lakh for each appearance in court to the Delhi Chief Minister.

Jethmalani has made 11 appearances so far, leading to a total of ₹3.42 crore.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has signed off on the bills and sent them for clearance to the Lieutenant Governor, who has sought the opinion of experts on how to proceed.

Baijal's move comes after the Delhi Government's Law Department, responding to a note by Sisodia, said that Lieutenant Governor's permission for clearing the bills was necessary.

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