“Where is Don? He is very crucial to our investigation. He is still missing, we need to recover him.”
This was the Delhi Police, seeking custody of a Labrador in an alleged case of domestic violence filed by Lipika Mitra against her husband and AAP leader Somnath Bharti.
Opposing the anticipatory bail petition of Bharti in a Delhi court Monday, police said the recovery of Bharti’s pet dog was key to their probe since Don was alleged to have bitten a pregnant Lipika at the behest of his master.
“He (the dog) has been missing since the complaint has been filed. He is very crucial to the investigation. We have conducted searches at Bharti’s residence and at his office. However, we have not able to find him (Don). We have to recover him. Bharti knows where he is. The dog’s denture marks will prove how the accused incited the dog to attack the victim when she was pregnant,” special public prosecutor Shailender Babbar argued.
At this point, advocate Vijay Aggarwal, counsel for Bharti, interrupted: “Tomorrow, will you also question the dog?”
The prosecutor said the alleged instigation by Bharti was a serious offence, punishable under attempt to murder. He asked the court to reject the petition for anticipatory bail.
Accepting the prosecution argument, additional sessions judge Sanjay Garg said: “A perusal of the FIR shows that the complainant has narrated specific incidents of cruelty against the applicant… as per the complaint, when she asked the applicant to pay rent, he not only tried to strangulate her but also unleashed his dog on her despite knowing that she was in the seventh month of her pregnancy. The dog had bitten the complainant at multiple places on her stomach and private parts.”
“Considering the allegation, the contention of (Bharti’s) counsel that the commission of offence under 307 (attempt to murder) IPC is not made out cannot be accepted at this stage… the applicant is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail,” ASJ Garg said.
Police, meanwhile, moved an application for a non-bailable warrant against Bhati which was allowed by the court.
Last week, police registered an FIR against Bharti under IPC 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).
In her complaint, Bharti’s wife accused her husband: “He made his dog attack me. While the dog attacked me, Somnath Bharti was standing and watching me getting mauled. I was bitten by the dog at multiple places in my stomach and private parts. Bharti crossed all barriers of brutality…”