SC summons Bharti’s wife on his plea for mediation; refuses interim bail
The Supreme Court today issued notice to Lipika Mitra, wife of former Delhi law minister and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti who has been arrested in an attempt to murder and matrimonial violence case on a complaint by her, on a plea by the accused seeking mediation.
A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy has asked Lipika to be present in the court at 10:30 AM on Monday.
The court however rejected Bhatia’s plea for interim bail till Monday, till the time the court takes up his reconciliation plea.
A lower court in Delhi meanwhile extended Bharti’s police custody by three days after cops said they needed more time to make certain recoveries.
The bench decided to issue notice to Bharti’s wife after Gopal Subramaniam, the senior lawyer representing him brought submitted a letter written by Bharti through his lawyer expressing desire for a reconciliation in the interest of their children.
“My client is extremely keen to resolve this matter by way of a mutually acceptable and amicable solution which bring peace and harmony and also greater understanding and to ensure that their children have a bright future”, said the letter.
The 41-year-old AAP lawmaker has been accused of domestic violence and torture by his wife Lipika Mitra, whom he married in 2010. Mitra has also alleged that Bharti tried to kill her and ordered his dog to bite her when she was pregnant.
Mitra had filed a complaint of domestic violence and attempt to murder with Delhi Commission for Women on June 10 alleging that her husband had been abusing her since their marriage in 2010. She had also given a complaint to the police in this regard.
Delhi Police then registered an FIR against Bharti under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498A (cruelty towards wife), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 313 read with 511 (attempt to cause miscarriage without woman's consent), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.
At the outset, Subramaniam listed a series of alleged violation of criminal procedure code committed by the police and the Magistrate. He said that Bharti had complied with the September 28 undertaking and surrendered before the police the same evening at 10:00 PM, but his arrest has not been correctly shown in the arrest memo. Further, he complained that the legislator was denied meeting with his lawyer till he was produced before the Magistrate and granted police custody. His submission questioning the police proceedings was opposed by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was appearing for Delhi Police. The Attorney General said Bharti's appeal against the Delhi High Court order dismissing his anticipatory bail plea has now become infructuous and misconceived and he was not standing in the way of mediation. The bench also said we kept the appeal pending only because “we wanted to know if the lady (Lipika Mitra) is ready to go for mediation”