Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti Tuesday got a two-day reprieve from arrest in connection with a domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed by his wife, with the Delhi High court giving him protection till Thursday.
The AAP MLA had approached a sessions court Monday for anticipatory bail. The court, however, rejected the plea and issued a non-bailable warrant against him. Bharti moved the Delhi High Court in an urgent plea Tuesday.
The court of justice Suresh Kait asked police to issue a status report on the case, and will hear the matter Thursday.
During the hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Shailender Babbar opposed the grant of relief, claiming the former law minister was “influencing witnesses.” “The neighbours who witnessed the entire incident are not coming and deposing against him. You can’t give him protection,” said Babbar.
Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Bharti, said the case against him was “being blown out of proportion” to “destroy” his political career. The lawyer also disputed the need for custodial interrogation.
Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra had filed a complaint with the 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. The police had last week registered an FIR against Bharti under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498A (cruelty towards partner in marriage), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.
It is a domestic matter: AAP
The AAP has attempted to keep away from the controversy surrounding Somanth Bharti, insisting that it is a “domestic matter”. However, senior AAP leaders have publicly asked Bharti to “cooperate with police”. Senior leader Ashutosh said, “This is Somnathji’s personal matter, the AAP wont interfere. But we advise him to come forth and take part in the investigation.” Leaders said that it had been made clear to Bharti — from the time the case was filed by his wife — that he would “have to sort this out on his own”. ENS