NEW DELHI: Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti faces imminent arrest with a city court today dismissing his anticipatory bail plea and another issuing Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) against him in a domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed by his wife.
Bharti's plea for anticipatory bail was rejected by Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Sanjay Garg observing that it was the second complaint lodged against the MLA by his wife Lipika Mitra, who had alleged that he did not mend his conduct despite assurance before the Crime Against Women Cell. Later in the day, the Delhi Police moved an application seeking issuance of NBW against Bharti before Metropolitan Magistrate Manika, which was allowed.
The ASJ, while rejecting his anticipatory bail, said "it is pertinent to observe that this is the second complaint lodged by the complainant (Lipika). The previous complaint dated October 17, 2011 was not pursued by her on the assurance given by the applicant (Bharti) before the CAW cell. "It is alleged that the applicant did not mend his conduct and continued to subject the complainant to cruelty. Considering the totality of the facts and circumstances, the applicant is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail. The application is accordingly dismissed."
After dismissal of the anticipatory bail plea, the MLA's counsel Vijay Aggarwal said he will approach Delhi High Court for the relief to his client. "We will move the high court shortly," he said. The Magistrate later issued the arrest warrant after the
police moved an application contending that Bharti was not cooperating in the probe and had failed to appear for interrogation despite three summons issued to him.
The ASJ, while rejecting anticipatory bail to Bharti, accepted submissions of Special Public Prosecutor Shailendra Babbar that allegations against the lawmaker were serious and there was a possibility of his tampering with evidence. The court rejected Bharti's contention that attempt to murder charge was not made out, while saying the FIR had specific allegations of cruelty against him.
The judge said "as per the complainant, on March 19, 2013, when she (Lipika) asked Bharti to pay the rent, he not only tried to strangulate her, but also unleashed his dog on her despite knowing that she was in the seventh month of pregnancy. "... Considering the allegation, the contention of Bharti's counsel that commission of offence under section 307 (attempt to murder) is not made out, cannot be accepted at this stage..."
While seeking the anticipatory bail for Bharti, his counsel told the court that his client was a sitting MLA and there was no chance that he would flee from justice in the event of grant of bail. He added that Bharti still wanted to support his wife and children and was ready for mediation.
"I (Bharti) am a lawyer, ex-Delhi law minister and a public servant and there is no chance that I will abscond," the counsel said. Bharti's wife Lipika Mitra, who was also present in the court room, alleged that her husband had tried to strangulate
her and she was left to die in front of her kids. "My small kids are suffering. I was left to die in front of them. I love my husband that is why I suffered the abuse for five years," she said.
When court asked her if she was willing for mediation, Lipika refused, saying "no reconciliation is possible as all attempts made earlier have failed." While opposing the bail application, the prosecutor said the MLA is an influential person because of which nobody was coming forward to depose against him.
He said notices have already been issued to him by the police for joining probe in the case but he was running away and not cooperating with the agency. The prosecutor said two FIRs were earlier lodged against Bharti, including one on alleged molestation of African women. He also said the politician's wife was called for mediation four times but it did not help.
Lipika had filed a complaint of domestic violence with the Delhi Commission for Women on June 10 alleging that her husband had been abusing her since their marriage in 2010. She had also given a complaint to police in this regard. The Delhi Police had last week registered an FIR against Bharti under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498A(cruelty towards partner in marriage), 324(voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 313 read with 511 (attempt to cause miscarriage without woman's consent), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.