NEW DELHI: In a major setback to former law minister and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected his anticipatory bail plea in connection with domestic violence and attempt to murder case lodged by his wife Lipika Mitra. Bharti’s counsel, however, said that he will approach Supreme Court for anticipatory bail.
Immediately, after the High Court dismissed Bharti’s bail plea, the legislator went into hiding. The Delhi Police sleuths raided the office and residence of Bharti but he was untraceable and his phone was dead. Joint Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak, who heading the probe, said, “Bharti is evading arrest. We had sent two police teams to his office at Dwarka and residence at Malviya Nagar but he was not present. When we tried to call him up, his phone was also found to be switched off.”
Rejecting the Bharti’s plea, the court observed that the allegations against him were backed by documentary proof. Justice Suresh Kait said Bhrati’s wife has been tolerating his cruelty and brutal assault and it is very serious in nature.
“This petition (for anticipatory bail) is dismissed,” Justice Suresh Kait said.
The court 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.”
The court stated: “Bharti is an elected MLA, should have shown some more generosity and responsibility towards his wife and children… he is not only violent and outrageous at home but also before public at large as noted in other cases.”
Reacting to the court’s decision, Lipika Mitra said that she is glad that the High Court has seen merit in her my case.
However, AAP leaders said that the doors of Supreme Court are still open. “(Narendra) Modi’s police should know that he (Bharti) has still got the rights to go and appeal in the Supreme Court,” AAP leader Ashutosh said.
However, Ashutosh also urged Bharti to come forward and clear his stand on what he said was the Malvia Nagar legislator’s personal matter on which the law will take its own course.
Soon after the order was pronounced, Bharti’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal said that the MLA can be arrested but there are other legal remedies and many doors are still open.
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. Police thereafter registered an FIR against Bharti under various sections of Indian Penal Code. Lipika had alleged that Bharti tried to strangulate her and unleashed his dog on her knowing that she was seven months pregnant.
The legislator had moved the High Court seeking protection from arrest after a city court denied him anticipatory bail and another court issued a non-bailable warrant against him. The high court had on September 17 reserved its verdict while protecting Bharti from arrest till pronouncement of its order.
It is pertinent to note that after getting respite from High Court for couple of days last week, Bharti went at the Dwarka police station late night amid high drama. Bharti came to the police station along with his dog Don. Around 2 am, Bharti reached the police station along with his dog and asked police to interrogate him.