The Delhi Police registered an FIR against AAP MLA Somnath Bharti based on a three-month-old complaint of domestic violence filed by his wife, levelling charges of attempting to kill by strangulation and unleashing a dog on her while she was pregnant in March 2013. Sources said the former Delhi law minister would likely be arrested by Sunday.
The FIR, a copy of which is with HT, was registered at Dwarka North police station on Wednesday evening. The charges include attempt to cause miscarriage without woman’s consent, cheating, physical and mental torture, domestic violence and dowry harassment.
Police said Bharti wife’s Lipika Mitra, who had filed a domestic violence complaint in June, insisted on the FIR as efforts at reconciliation failed.
“The woman had approached us with a complaint in which she had accused her husband of subjecting her to severe physical, mental and oral harassment and torture,” Deependra Pathak, joint CP (southwestern range), told HT.
“We handled her complaint as per the institutional practice of counselling, reconciliation and mediation. The couple was called for counselling and negotiation four to five times but it did not work. Finally, on the woman’s insistence we initiated the legal procedure and registered an FIR,” Pathak said.
Officers said the Malviya Nagar MLA would now be asked to join the probe. A Delhi court had in July rejected his plea for anticipatory bail but granted him the liberty to file a fresh application if and when an FIR was registered against him.
On Thursday, Mitra, who married Bharti in 2010, recorded her statement before a judicial magistrate and reiterated the charges mentioned in earlier complaints. She accused Bharti of attempting to kill her on two occasions – first in 2013 by strangulation and then by slashing her wrists this May, sources said.
Mitra said Bharti unleashed a dog on her while she was pregnant and subjected her to severe mental and physical torture, sources said. She also alleged that Bharti “cheated” her into marriage by claiming that he was heading an international law firm.