There is more trouble in the offing for Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti.
On Friday, he failed to turn up before the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) to respond to charges levelled against him and his supporters by some Ugandan women they had targeted during a midnight raid in Khirki Extension. The DCW said it was contemplating action against Bharti’s representative who turned up at their office.
DCW chairperson Barkha Singh said the behaviour of Bharti’s representatives was “not acceptable”. “They were shouting at me. We are going to take action against them. When we meet the L-G to submit our decision on the case, we will apprise him of the manner in which Bharti’s representatives conducted themselves.”
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While two of the five complainants turned up at DCW office on Friday, Bharti sent two representatives — Rishikesh Kumar and Neha Rastogi. DCW officials, however, refused to entertain them.
“Bharti did not appear for the hearing on Friday. According to our rules, we do not allow lawyers to represent the parties. We should have received a letter from him explaining why he could not be present at DCW on Friday,” Singh said.
On being told that Bharti had attended a kite festival organised by Delhi government, Singh said, “If flying kites is more important than this then it says a lot about our Law Minister.”
“We were told that we will not be entertained because of our attire. This raises the question of principles of natural justice. He (Bharti) will file a written reply to the DCW later,” Rishikesh Kumar said.
Meanwhile, inaugurating the International Kite Festival, Bharti said, “They (media) have done PhDs in converting a real issue into a non-issue. The aam aadmi knows the truth. It doesn’t matter what the media reports.”
The two Ugandan women who were at DCW office spoke about the discrimination they had faced following the incident. One of them said, “We want to speak on behalf of our African sister… Mr (Arvind) Kejriwal has been saying that our neighbourhood has filed several complaints against us. Is it a crime to have an Indian friend and to be out at night?”
In a statement, the AAP said the DCW office was being “politicised” by its chairperson, a former Congress MLA.
“It appears that the DCW chairperson acted on a well thought-out plan of browbeating the lawyers representing Mr Bharti in order to divert attention from the real issues facing the residents of Khirki Extension,” the statement read.