A Delhi court has refused to remove bail conditions imposed on former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, accused in a domestic violence case filed against him by his wife, in which he is not allowed to travel outside the capital.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader had approached additional sessions judge Virender Bhat asking that his bail conditions be removed so that he could travel outside Delhi. However, the judge rejected the plea saying that there had been repeated delays in the case due to the fact that Bharti was always travelling.
“It is thus evident that the delay in completion of investigation in this case has only been on account of frequent visits of the applicant (Bharti) t out of Delhi, which in itself has frustrated the purpose of putting of such condition on the applicant,” said ASJ Bhat while dismissing Bharti’s plea.
The court made it clear that the condition was to be put on the AAP leader “till the filing of the chargesheet.”
Bharti’s lawyer, Vijay Agarwal, told HT that his client “would surely appeal the order” in the high court.
On September 10, last year, the 41-year-old MLA from Malviya Nagar was accused of domestic violence and attempt to murder by his wife Lipika Mitra at Dwarka North police station. An earlier complaint registered in October 2011 had been not pursued by her on an assurance given by the politician before the Crime Against Women cell.
After a city court dismissed his plea for anticipatory bail, Bharti was absconding for several days before being arrested by Delhi Police in October last year.
During his first bail hearing, the prosecutor had said Bharti was not cooperating. However, his lawyers had pointed out that as an accused it was his right to stay silent if he wished to.
The lawyer had said to the court that it could impose any condition on his client that it felt comfortable with. “Won’t even travel out of Malviya Nagar (Bharti’s assembly), if the court says,” he had said.