NEW DELHI -- Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Somnath Bharti has been booked for domestic violence by the Delhi Police following a complaint by his wife Lipika Mitra.
Bharti, who served as law minister in the AAP's 49-days government, has also been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 307(Attempt to murder), 323 (Causing Hurt), and 498A (Cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code, The Times Of India reported on Thursday.
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 to DCW.
Bharti has refuted the allegations against him as "baseless and inconceivable," and said that his wife was asking him to chose between her and his mother.
Bharti's arrest comes in the midst of an ongoing power struggle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, who represents the centre in the national capital, with the AAP chief accusing the Narendra Modi government and the Delhi police of targeting his party's leaders and disrupting their work.
After sweeping the Delhi elections in February, Kejriwal has pushed for his government to control the Delhi Police which is currently under the central government.
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.