NEW DELHI: After the Delhi High Court dismissed Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti's anticipatory bail plea Delhi Police today raided the office and residence of Bharti but failed to find him.
"Bharti is evading arrest. We sent two police teams to Bharti's office at Dwarka and residence at Malviya Nagar, but he was not present at either of the two. When we tried to call him up, his phone was also found to be switched off," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Dependra Pathak.
Bharti faces arrest in connection with domestic violence and attempt to murder case lodged by his wife. The Delhi High Court today declined to grant him anticipatory bail.
"This petition (for anticipatory bail) is dismissed," Justice Suresh Kait said.
Soon after the order was pronounced, advocate Vijay Aggarwal, who appeared for Bharti, told the media that the MLA can be arrested, "but there are other legal remedies and many doors are still open".
The high court had on September 17 reserved its verdict while protecting Bharti from arrest till pronouncement of its order.
The court had also pulled the MLA for going to the police station at late night, saying, "If he loves going to police station, then I will send him from here....Once you (Bharti) get relief, you act like a lion and go here and there."
Bharti had moved the high court seeking protection from arrest after a trial court denied him anticipatory bail and another court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
Bharti's plea for anticipatory bail was rejected by trial court observing that it was the second complaint filed against the MLA by his wife Lipika Mitra, who has alleged that he did not mend his conduct despite assurance before Crime Against Women Cell of the police.
The district court had also rejected the MLA's contention that attempt to murder charge was not made out, while referring to an allegation in the FIR that Bharti tried to strangulate his wife and unleashed his dog on her knowing that she was seven months pregnant.
Lipika had filed a complaint of domestic violence with 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 the police in this regard.
Delhi Police then registered an FIR against Bharti under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498A (cruelty towards wife), 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.