NEW DELHI -- In a blow to Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Somnath Bharti, who is charged with domestic violence and attempt to murder, the Delhi High Court today rejected his plea for anticipatory bail.
While his lawyers rush to move the Supreme Court, Bharti is vulnerable to arrest in the domestic violence case registered by his wife Lipika Mitra. The AAP leader has refuted Mitra's allegations and accused the Delhi Police of acting on behest of the Modi government to embarrass him.
So far, three AAP lawmakers - Jitendra Singh Tomar, Surinder Singh and Manoj Kumar - have been arrested, this year.
Bharti, who served as the law minister in the AAP's 49-day government, went missing after a Delhi court rejected his anticipatory bail, earlier this month, and only resurfaced after the Delhi High Court gave him protection from arrest until it made a final decision on his plea.
In a bizarre move, Bharti showed up at a police station with Don, his Labrador, at around 2:00 am, last week. He also instructed Don to "kato" (bite) before television news cameras - in an attempt to prove that his wife's claim that he unleashed his dog on her was not true.
In June, Mitra filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), accusing Bharti of domestic violence, harassment, and torture since 2010. "Me and my children are subject to harassment and torture -mental, physical and oral - by my husband Somnath Bharti. There is a persistent threat from my husband and his supporters," she said in her complaint.
Bharti, who was booked for domestic violence on September 9, has refuted the allegations against him as "baseless and inconceivable," and said that his wife had asked him to chose between her and his mother.
Bharti has also claimed that he has audio and documentary evidence which will prove his wife wrong.
"The allegation of attempt to murder has been put on me by the lady, who says 'sweet heart when you will come home, I will take care of you' in an SMS. This SMS was sent to me by her (Lipika Mitra) on February 25, 2015. Can you imagine a wife calling her husband in such a way who is trying to murder her?" he said.
Forgiveness is d only key to live a meaningful life. Anger within for others' wrongs, perceived or otherwise, if dropped, can liberate you.— Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) September 20, 2015
Last month, Bharti courted controversy for saying, 'Beautiful women laden with jewelries can travel at midnight fearlessly is the kind of benchmark one can measure security level at Delhi against, if AAP has police control."
Last year, Bharti faced severe criticism for his vigilante-midnight raid against Ugandan and Nigerian women living in Khirki Extension, who locals accused of running a drug and prostitution racket, but the AAP government backed its minister.
While the AAP government backed Bharti over the Khirki Extension episode, his party's leadership is keeping a distance in the present case. So far, they have dubbed it as a "personal matter," and asked him to cooperate with the investigation.