Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti, who had surrendered at Dwarka North police station late on Monday, has been arrested and sent to police custody for two days in a domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed against him by his estranged wife.
A city court, after hearing extensive arguments from Bharti’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal and the special public prosecutor, decided to send the 41-year-old AAP leader to police custody till October 1 on Tuesday.
Though Delhi Police had asked for five days to question Bharti, the court of metropolitan magistrate Maneka said two days would be sufficient
for the police to conduct their probe.
A separate case, in which Bharti has accused the Delhi Police of being biased against him in their probe of the January 2014 Khirki Extension raid, will come up for hearing before a Delhi court on Wednesday.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Bharti — who is also a lawyer — argued for himself for several minutes before his counsel took over. Bharti told the magistrate that contrary to the allegations in the FIR it was his wife who used to be ‘aggressive in their relationship’.
“She used to torture me,” he said.
Later, Bharti’s lawyer opposed the plea for police custody on the grounds that the cops did not need to arrest his client to conduct a probe into Lipika Mitra’s complaint.
“When he is already saying that he knows nothing about any missing articles, how can the police be allowed to get custody and to have the opportunity to use third degree,” he said. Aggarwal added that “this will give the police an opportunity to plant some false evidence” too.
He countered the police’s contention that the Bharti’s presence was required while examining his dog Don, who apparently attacked Lipika on the AAP leader’s command.
“We need to see if the animal followed his commands or not,” the cops said. Bharti’s lawyer also moved a plea before the magistrate that his client be provided with home food and medicines, which was duly granted.
Sources in the police later said that Bharti was refusing to cooperate and investigators had not been able to extract any relevant information from him.
According to sources, to all the questions posed to him, Bharti just had one standard answer — “I do not know. I will not say anything.”
Investigators on Tuesday said Bharti was not even ready to tell them where he was hiding to evade arrest.
Sources said that Bharti will now be taken to his Dwarka residence where he was staying with his wife Lipika after marriage and where she was allegedly assaulted by him. “We will collect evidence now. Bharti will be taken to the Dwarka residence and to other places, including Agra and Mathura, where he was suspected to be hiding to evade arrest,” a source said.