Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today tweeted his tribute to eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani, saying his name "will be written in golden words in legal history". The 95-year-old, who had not been keeping well, died at his home in Delhi this morning. He was mourned by the legal and political fraternity, and one of the first to tweet his condolences was Mr Kejriwal.
The former union minister, Mr Kejriwal said, had shaped criminal law in post-Independence India.
"Extremely saddened at the passing away of legendary lawyer Ram Jethmalani ji. An institution in himself, he shaped criminal law in post-independence India. His void would never be filled and his name will be written in golden words in legal history.RIP Ram sir," his tweet read.
"I have heard he would never charge for cases from the poor... I last met him around one year ago. I did seek help from him," Mr Kejriwal later told reporters.
Mr Kejriwal had sought help from Mr Jethmalani two years ago when he faced a defamation suit filed by union minister Arun Jaitley, who died last month.
But the matter did not end well. Mr Jethmlani, while questioning Mr Jaitley, had called him "a crook". When the then finance minister questioned if the slur was sanctioned by Mr Kejriwal, Mr Jethmalani had answered in the affirmative.
Mr Jaitley said he would seek "aggravated damages," and filed a fresh defamation case against Mr Kejriwal.
The Chief Minister, however, denied Mr Jethmalani's claim.
In an affidavit, he told the court: "With due respect it is submitted that neither Kejriwal nor the counsel briefing the senior counsel Jethmalani gave instructions to the senior counsel to use the objectionable words on May 17, 2017."
Mr Jethmalani then quit as Mr Kejriwal's lawyer, saying the Chief Minister had "lied". He also said the Rs 2 crore fee that Mr Kejriwal owed him, can be waived. "It is no problem as I work for free for thousands of people," the eminent lawyer had said.