The Delhi Bar Council on Monday issued a showcause notice to Law Minister Somnath Bharti, who is also a lawyer, on a complaint filed by the Delhi BJP.
“We have issued a showcause notice and Bharti now has to reply on or before February 7,” Bar Council secretary Murari Tiwari said.
Last August, a CBI court held Bharti’s conduct as “not only highly objectionable, unethical but also amounts to tampering of evidence”, after he, as a defence lawyer in a corruption case, contacted a prosecution witness and tried to bring on record an audio-recording of a conversation before the court. Under law, defence lawyers are not allowed to contact or try to influence prosecution witnesses in any manner.
Last week, the Delhi BJP asked the Bar Council to take “strict disciplinary action” against Bharti. “Since the complaint is about acts done before he became a minister and he did not get his enrollment suspended, we can look into the matter. We will see what is to be done once he replies,” Bar Council vice-chairman Rakesh Sherawat said.
The Law minister filed an application seeking suspension of his enrollment a day after the BJP filed the complaint. Bharti told Newsline that he was not aware of the showcause notice. “If a showcause notice has been issued, I will certainly respond to it,” he said.