Ram Jethmalani charges much lower fee per appearance to Amarinder Singh

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder have a common lawyer in the high profile Ram Jethmalani. But both states pay vastly different amounts in lawyer’s fees that is footed by their respective exchequers.

Kejriwal’s government is reportedly willing to pay Rs 1 crore as retainer fee and a whopping Rs 22 lakh per appearance to the nonagenarian lawyer, who represents Kejriwal in a defamation case filed against the latter by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Captain’s newly formed government in Punjab has empanelled Jethmalani to represent the state in the Apex Court and other courts outside Chandigarh. Punjab will pay Jethmalani Rs 3.3 lakh per appearance.

The disparity in fees borne by taxpayers has raised eyebrows. Besides fee per appearance (Rs 3.3 lakh), Jethmalani like all other lawyers in the category (A-1), will also be entitled to Rs 2.2 lakh for conference and drafting of petitions.

“This is evidently a case of bad negotiation. The Delhi governments hould have compared the fee charged by the lawyer from other state governments. There was no dispute if the fees were to be paid from the pocket of Kejriwal, since it is a personal litigation. But transferring the financial burden of such enormity to the taxpayer is unjustified,” ex-additional Solicitor General of India Mohan Jain told media