Delhi HC gives AAP MLA Somnath Bharti two-day protection against arrest

New Delhi: In a relief to former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, booked in a domestic violence case on his wife's complaint, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted him protection against arrest till September 17.

Justice Suresh Kait issued notice and sought a police report on the status of investigation in the case by Thursday.

"Issue notice to the Delhi Police. Police shall file a status report. Till then, no coercive steps against the petitioner (Bharti)," the high court said.

Somnath Bharti
Somnath Bharti

Bharti, a legislator from Malviya Nagar constituency, moved the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

On Monday, a trial court issued non-bailable warrants against Bharti in a domestic violence case after police informed it that Bharti was not cooperating in the probe.

The trial court also dismissed the AAP legislator's anticipatory bail plea.

During the hearing, police said Bharti abused his wife Lipika Mitra and his pet dog also attacked her.

Appearing for Bharti, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan and Vijay Aggarwal opposed the police's demand for custodial interrogation of the AAP leader.

Lipika in her complaint alleged that in March 2013, Bharti physically abused her, tried to strangulate her and set his dog upon her, due to which she suffered multiple injuries.

A first information report (FIR) was filed against Bharti under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including for domestic violence and attempt to murder, at Dwarka North police station in west Delhi.

Police said they filed the FIR following the June 10 complaint by Bharti's wife, who said the AAP leader had been abusing her ever since they married in 2010. She also claimed that Bharti beat and tortured her and once even tried to kill her.

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