Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti on Friday failed to appear before the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and instead sent his lawyers, who in turn had a public spat with panel chief Barkha Singh after she refused to entertain them.
The DCW had summoned Bharti following allegations that he led a group of AAP workers who misbehaved with four African women on the pretext of a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution ring in Khirki Extension area in South Delhi last week.The Law Minister was asked to depose before the Commission this afternoon, but he sent his lawyers who said the minister was absent due to “some urgencies.” However, the DCW chief said the Commission had asked the minister to depose before it and that it would not accept explanation of his lawyers.
One of Bharti’s lawyers Rishikesh Kumar said that Barkha Singh, a former Congress MLA, did not allow them to put across his point on the issue.
“I have been asked by Somnath Bharti to represent him in today’s proceeding. I came here at 3 pm and as I entered inside I saw many camerapersons were already present there. So I said that it’s already 3 o’clock and we have been sent by Bharti to represent him,” he said. “We were told lawyers cannot represent. I said I have got the instructions. I have got the authorisation and can you please let me speak? Then she said no, you are a lawyer. But I kept saying that we have a humble submission. I told her that because of some urgencies Bharti might not be able to attend today’s hearing,” Kumar said.The AAP had yesterday decided to back Bharti and to wait for the findings of a judicial inquiry before any action can be taken against him.Kumar said that Bharti will file a written reply as the minister had received four separate complaints by four different women.”We are going through the letters of complaints and will soon file a written reply because we have got the notice and we don’t want to evade the due process of law and duly authorised representative can speak on behalf of the law minister. That’s what we are trying do but there was already a lot of chaos,” he said.