NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Monday issued a non-bailable warrant against AAP leader and former Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti in a domestic violence and attempt to murder case. Earlier in the day, his anticipatory bail plea was rejected.
With warrant issued, Bharti would face imminent arrest if he refused to co-operate with the police probe.
Bharti has been accused by his estranged wife Lipika Mitra of domestic violence and attempt to murder. He was asked to join the probe and was also served summons, but he failed to appear before the investigators.
Rejecting Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea, Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg observed that it was the second complaint lodged against the MLA by his wife Lipika, who had alleged that he did not mend his conduct despite an assurance before the Crime Against Women Cell of the Delhi Police.
“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,” the court said. The court rejected Bharti’s contention that the attempt to murder charge was not made out, while saying the FIR had specific allegations of cruelty.
“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,” the judge said.
Bharti’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal 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 also said that Bharti still wanted to support his wife and children and was ready for mediation.“I am (Bharti) a lawyer, ex-Delhi law minister and a public servant and there is no chance that I will abscond,” the counsel said.
When court asked Lipika, who was also present in the court room, if she was willing for mediation, Lipika refused. “No reconciliation is possible as all attempts made earlier have failed,” she said.
After the dismissal of the anticipatory bail plea, Bharti’s counsel said he would approach the Delhi High Court for relief to his client.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police also moved an application before the court seeking issue of non-bailable warrant against Bharti and it was allowed. The court 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.
Last week, the Delhi Police 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 the IPC.