NEW DELHI: AAP leader Somnath Bharti today termed the domestic violence and attempt to murder case against him as a "BJP-sponsored litigation" and sought bail before a Delhi court, as the police opposed it saying he was an influential person who could hamper the probe.
Additional Sessions Judge Anil Kumar after hearing the arguments on bail reserved the order for tomorrow. During an over two-and-a-half hearing on bail plea, advocate Vijay Aggarwal appearing for Bharti claimed it was a case of an "on-and-off relationship" which was blown out of proportion due to political motives and alleged that it was a "BJP-sponsored litigation".
"I am an MLA and have to look after the work of my constituency. I have deep root in the society and if granted bail, I will not flee from the justice...Everyone recognizes me where will I escape," he said. Aggarwal said Bharti himself was a lawyer, a former Law Minister of Delhi and would respect the law. The AAP leader has also to look after his aged parents, the lawyer said and urged the court to enlarge him on bail while imposing any condition on him.
"I will join the investigation as and when called by the Investigation Officer and there is no point of influencing the witnesses. If court wants, it can bar me from leaving Delhi or it can confine me at my residing place that is Malviya Nagar constituency," the lawyer said. While citing some transcripts of recorded phone calls and SMSs exchanged between Bharti and his wife Lipika Mitra, he said "the dog in question 'Don' was being fed by Lipika, then how can it bite her? She also kept wearing all the jewellery, which meant these were with her."
The lawyer also alleged it was Lipika who had threatened to cut herself after which Bharti had called her mother and brother to intervene and settle the matter. "Both (Lipika and Bharti) kept on talking in normal terms even after the complaint and FIR was registered. This shows that everything was normal," he said. Opposing Bharti's plea, Additional Public Prosecutor Shailendra Babbar said when Bharti was not in police custody he tried to misuse his liberty.
Maintaining that Bharti's conduct has been "very dubious", the prosecutor asked "what would he do if he is granted bail. "In case he is enlarged on bail, he would influence the witnesses as he is a very influential man. There are witnesses who are not coming forward to depose because of his influence. Granting him bail will hamper investigation which is at a primitive stage," Babbar said.
Babbar said the complainant has levelled specific allegations against Bharti which are very grave in nature and the legislator should not be allowed to hamper the probe unless the charge sheet was filed in the case. He said as per the complaint, Bharti tried to strangulate his wife and unleash his dog on her and it was stopped only when the neighbhours intervened.
Bharti had yesterday moved bail plea after the Supreme Court disposed of his anticipatory bail plea and asked him to approach the trial court for regular bail. His estranged wife had told the apex court that she was not willing for mediation to settle the domestic violence and attempt to murder case. Bharti is in judicial custody till October 19.
The AAP MLA was arrested in the wee hours on September 29 after the apex court ordered him to surrender. Bharti had on September 23 moved the apex court seeking protection from arrest in the case and a direction to restrain the police from arresting him till his plea challenging the High Court order was decided.
The Supreme Court, however, had on October 1 denied interim bail to AAP MLA and sought the presence of his wife before it to explore the possibility of mediation. On September 22, the Delhi High Court had rejected Bharti's plea for anticipatory bail, observing that the allegations against him were backed by "documentary proof".
Terming the allegations against the legislator by his wife as "very serious", the high court had said she has been tolerating his "cruelty" and "brutal assault".