Domestic violence case: Court to hear arguments on Somnath Bharti’s plea on September 30

New Delhi: A Delhi court will hear on September 30 the arguments on AAP leader Somnath Bharti’s plea seeking lodging of an FIR against police officials for “implicating” him in a case of alleged molestation of some African women during his purported midnight raid last year.

The matter, which was listed before Additional Sessions Judge Bhupesh Kumar, could not be heard on Saturday as the judge was on leave.

Bharti has filed two revision pleas before a sessions court against the dismissal of his applications by a magisterial court seeking lodging of FIR against the police personnel and seeking further probe in the case.

On November 10, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate had dismissed Bharti’s plea for lodging of an FIR against unnamed police personnel for allegedly implicating him in the case 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.”

In a recent development, Delhi Government on September 24 sanctioned Bharti’s prosecution for 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 probe moved under section 173(8) of CrPC, has 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.

Delhi Police had filed a final report against Bharti and 17 other accused and chargesheeted them for various offences under the IPC, including sections 354 (outraging women’s modesty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 147 (rioting).

The police had arrayed 41 persons as 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 last year.

The FIR was lodged on January 19 last year on the court’s direction after an Ugandan woman had approached it seeking a direction to the police to file a criminal case against unnamed persons.