Senior lawyer and MP Ram Jethmalani will reportedly represent Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP members against the defamation suits filed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
A senior official in the CM's office told PTI, "Ram Jethmalani will appear before court for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal."
A report in The Times of India states "Jethmalani, who has been openly critical of Jaitley and holds him responsible for his ouster as law minister in the NDA government, agreed to defend Kejriwal and his colleagues after Delhi CM approached him. 'I am not charging him a penny,' he said."
Jaitley has filed separate criminal and civil defamation suits against Kejriwal and five other senior AAP leaders, seeking Rs 10 crore as damages in the latter case.
The criminal defamation suit has been filed against Kejriwal, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai under sections 499, 500, 501, 502 of the IPC for offences including making and disseminating defamatory statements, The Indian Express reported.
The report states that the "complaint relies on tweets, Facebook posts and press statements" which were made by AAP leaders over alleged financial and other irregularities in the DDCA committed during Jaitley’s tenure as president between 1999-2013.
The DDCA row erupted last week after the CBI raided the office of the Principal Secretary of the Delhi government following which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the agency was actually interested in files related to the DDCA in which Jaitley was in the dock.
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who is representing Jaitley, has been quoted by IE as saying "The complainant is a senior member of the Bar and belongs to a reputed legal family. He has been the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha for several years and is now the finance minister… They (AAP leaders) have caused irreversible damage to his name and credibility, both in his personal and professional capacity."
Responding to Kejriwal's allegations, Jaitley in a blog published last week had written that the move "is a part of propaganda technique to deflect attention when you yourselves are in the dock".