New Delhi, April 4: Noted lawyer and former Bharatiya Janata Party leader has said that he will fight the defamation case for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal free of cost if he cannot pay for the same. Speaking to ANI, Jethmalani said, “I charge only the rich but for poor I work for free. All this is instigated by Mr. Jailtley who’s afraid of my cross-examination. Even now if government (Delhi) doesn’t pay or he can’t pay, I will appear for free and will treat him (Kejriwal) as one of my poor clients.”Also Read - Delhi Pollution: Govt Extends Bans on Truck Entry Till Further Orders

Jethmalani’s comments come amidst the controversy over a Time Now report that Kejriwal had sent an official request to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, urging him to clear the payment of Rs 3.86 crore for lawyer Ram Jethmalani. Times Now has accessed a document, which is the letter reportedly sent by the Arvind Kejriwal government to Baijal. “Payment of bills may be made as and when the bills are received from the Ld Counsel,” says the letter addressed to Baijal by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, according to Times Now. Also Read - Delhi Airport Readies To Take Stern Action Against Fliers Flouting Home Quarantine Rules | Details

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Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju took a dig at Kejriwal on Tuesday, tweeting, “Public money for defending Kejriwal ji !! Already too much money is being used to advertise him.”

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party has accused the channel of ‘running a propaganda against it ahead of the MCD Elections in Delhi. AAP leader Bala Subramanian, speaking with Times Now, pointed out that the letter was sent in December last year and questioned the timing of the Times Now report. (Also Read: Kejriwal looting people of Delhi, says BJP)

The payment sought in the letter by the Kejriwal government refers to the bills for Jethmalani defending Kejriwal in the defamation case filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley was accused by the Delhi Chief Minister of indulging in massive corruption during his tenure as the Delhi and District Cricket Administration (DDCA) chief between 1999-2013. Following this, Jaitley filed a defamation suit in December 2015 against Kejriwal, and other Aam Aadmi Party leaders including Ashutosh, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chaddha and Deepak Bajpai.

Jaitley had sought Rs 10 crores from Kejriwal, along with action for maligning his public image. The Delhi High Court has put Kejriwal, along with other AAP leaders on trial in the matter and the hearing is on.