By Subhajit Sengupta

In a court room packed with lawyers and journalist, Somnath Bharti found it difficult to contain the lawyer in himself. First, he began his arguments when his lawyer was late, even when his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal took over, he continued to chip in.

Somnath Bharti. AFP

Somnath Bharti. AFP

Bharti’s initial arguments were how this case doesn’t merit an attempt to murder section, claiming that he had never let the dog out on his wife. Wearing the same red T-shirt in which he had surrendered on Monday night, he soon passed the baton to his lawyers. But he kept chipping in with comments, often forcing his lawyer to ask him to stay quiet. In fact, even after the arguments got over, Bharti felt he had some more to say, forcing Metropolitan Magistrate Manika to observe, “I heard from your lawyer and that is enough.”

The special public prosecutor, appearing for the police, said that Bharti’s custody was also required in connection with the investigation relating to his pet dog ‘Don’, for which an expert has already been consulted. He also alleged that Bharti had unleashed his dog on his wife when she was pregnant and was bitten by it.

The police custody plea was opposed by advocate Aggarwal, who appeared for Bharti, saying the agency had enough time to go to different places and recover the articles as the FIR in the case was registered around three months ago after his wife lodged the complaint.

Aggarwal contended that the dog was also available whenever the agency needed it for investigation and claimed that Bharti does not know anything about the missing articles which police wants to recover.

“When he is already saying he knows nothing about the missing articles, can the police be allowed to get the custody to have the opportunity to use third degree,” he said, adding that “this will give the agency an opportunity to plant some false evidence”.

41-year-old Bharti was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Manika who remanded the former Delhi Law Minister to police custody till 1 October after the investigating agency said some recoveries were to be made from him.

Once custody was granted to the police, a number of petitions came from Bharti and his lawyers. The petitions included fifteen minutes time to meet the family members and get food from home. But the most interesting was the demand for full sleeve clothes, perhaps hinting at the dengue mosquitoes and how even the mighty police lock up is no match to their menace.

The AAP MLA had on Monday surrendered before police after the Supreme Court ordered him to give up by the evening in the domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed by his wife. He was arrested at around 4 am on Tuesday morning.

Bharti had on 23 September moved the apex court seeking protection from arrest in the case and a direction to restrain Delhi Police from arresting him till his plea challenging the High Court order is decided. The High Court had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea, saying the allegations against him were backed by “documentary proof”.

Lipika had filed a complaint of domestic violence with the Delhi Commission for Women on 10 June 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Somnath Bharti turns into his own lawyer in Delhi court before being remanded to police custody