In more controversy for ruling Aam Aadmi Party, its MLA and former Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti was on Wednesday slapped with notices by Delhi Commission for Women after his wife filed a complaint levelling charges of domestic violence, mental torture, dowry and forgery which the lawmaker has rejected as “baseless”.
Additionally, she also reached the police headquarters to meet police officials regarding her domestic violence case.
AAP leader Somnath Bharti in trouble again. PTI
“Summons have been issued to Bharti and he has been asked to appear on 26 June,” said Barkha Singh, chairperson of DCW.
Singh added that Lipika has been living in Dwarka separately for the last three years and Bharti used to visit her.
“She approached us this afternoon and lodged a complaint alleging assault and domestic violence by her husband Somnath Bharti since 2010. We have issued notices to Bharti asking him to appear before us by June 26. She now wants an end to the torture,” said Barkha Singh.
As per her complaint, Lipika works in a multinational company and married Bharti in 2010. Bharti had also demanded dowry and a car, said Singh.
“She said Bharti had lied to her. Before marriage, Bharti had said that he owned an international law firm but later she realised that he did not. She has also complained of physical and mental torture. After making the complaint, she is scared,” the DCW chairperson added.
On her part, Lipika said she has been going through difficult time since 2010. “It would be difficult for me to summarise all these. It’s going on for a long time. It has been going on since 2010. I want separation, I want to be out from this marriage. I want to live with dignity with my children. It has been a continuous process through which I was going through.”
In her complaint, Lipika said, “Me and my children are subject to harassment and torture– mental, physical and oral — by my husband Somnath Bharti… There is a persistent threat from my husband and his supporters,”
Somnath Bhartti finally broke his silence on the issue and tweeted the following-
Talking to the media, Bharti appealed to his wife to not lie. “All these started after I missed my son’s birthday. I missed my son’s birthday as there were two days of the Delhi Assembly sessions. I missed it and I forgot it and that led to all these,” Bharti said.
“She had threatened me that she will spoil my political life and probably, this is the way she chose fulfil that. With folded hands, I request her that she should not lie and she should not spread lies in public domain,” he added.
He also revealed that his wife had made two demands, which he was unable to fulfill.
“For 5 years she is making a demand that I have to choose between my mother and her. I cannot fulfill this demand, where should I send my mother?” he asked, adding that he doesn’t have enough money to run two houses.
“Her second demand is that I should leave politics, because I don’t have a private life being in politics,” he said.
He also requested that the party should not be dragged in this matter as it is a personal matter between him and his wife.
Commenting on the issue, BJP’s RP Singh said, “Kejriwal is answerable for such AAP leaders involved in unlawful activities.”
Satish Upadhyay, President of Delhi’s BJP unit asked if a woman at home is not safe, then how can women of Delhi feel safe?
AAP on the other ahnd, has distanced itself from the issue.
This is not the first time Somnath Bharti has courted trouble. In the past, he was accused of molesting African women during his midnight-raid of a sex and drug ring operating out of the Malviya Nagar neighbourhood.
Bharti along with others were chargesheeted by the Delhi Police sections 354 (molestation), 147/149(rioting), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (outraging modesty of a woman), 153A (promoting enmity between two groups), 323 (assault) and 427 (criminal trespass) of the IPC.
Around five foreign women had recorded their statements before a magistrate in which they alleged that Bharti, the MLA from Malviya Nagar in south Delhi, had barged into their house along with his supporters on the intervening night of 15-16 January.
Somnath Bharti was the Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Malviya Nagar constituency in the 2013 Delhi Assembly Elections. He won the seat and held the post of Law Minister for a brief time.
However, he was not part of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Cabinet this time around, to which he alleged that he had willingly decided not to take any responsibility because he wants to focus on building his constituency as a model one.
Kejriwal’s AAP is already facing the heat for the fake degree case involving former Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar.
With agency inputs