A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed former Delhi minister Somnath Bharti’s revision plea seeking an FIR against unnamed police personnel for allegedly implicating him in a molestation case. Additional Sessions Judge Savita Rao rejected Bharti’s petition challenging a magisterial court’s order which had rejected his plea to register a case against policemen saying it was a case which should be dismissed with cost.
The AAP leader had sought setting aside of the magisterial court’s earlier order and a direction to the additional chief metropolitan magistrate to record pre-summoning evidence in his complaint and summon the accused persons if a prima facie case is made out. Public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava argued that Bharti wanted to divert the court’s attention from the main case in which he is an accused. With this motive in mind, he had sought to make the SHO and investigating officer accused.
As per law, he said, a complaint had to be first given to the SHO and the concerned DCP. Only if no action was taken could the complainant move court. And Bharti had not complied with the provisions by directly approaching the court. On November 10, 2014, the court had dismissed Bharti’s plea to lodge a case against the police personnel for allegedly implicating him in a molestation case involving Ugandan nationals, saying “without sanction of central or state government, no cognizance of offence can be taken.”
It had said that “any allegation of unfair or biased investigation cannot be separated from the discharge of official duty by IO. Therefore, protection of public servants under section 197 of CrPC would come into play.” Delhi Police had filed a final report against him and 17 others and chargesheeted them for various offences under the IPC, including outraging a woman’s modesty, voluntarily causing hurt, rioting and criminal intimidation.
The police had made 41 prosecution witnesses in the case, including nine Ugandan women who were allegedly beaten up and molested by the mob led by Bharti on the intervening night of January 15-16, 2014. The FIR was lodged on January 19, 2014 on the court’s direction after an Ugandan woman approached it seeking a direction to the police to file a criminal case against unnamed persons.
The Delhi government had on September 24, 2015 sanctioned Bharti’s prosecution for his alleged involvement in the raid in Khirki Extension area in January, 2014 when he was the law minister in the AAP government. Bharti, in his plea for a probe moved under section 173 (8) of CrPC, had said that police has allegedly suppressed crucial facts, statements of several witnesses and a video recording, which were not taken into account when the charge sheet against him was filed.