New Delhi: A court here on Tuesday sent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Somnath Bharti, arrested in a domestic violence case registered by his wife, to two-day police custody. Delhi Police, while seeking custody of the former law minister, told the court that Bharti’s presence was required while having his dog examined by an expert.
Metropolitan Magistrate Manika allowed the police to quiz the AAP legislator from Malviya Nagar in its custody till Thursday. “The dog in question is admitted to be a pet of the accused. Therefore its examination would be best in the presence of the accused,” the court said. The court found two days sufficient for police to examine his dog and recover the materials.
Seeking police custody of Bharti, the police said it needed to recover the knife with which the leader allegedly slit the wrist of his wife Lipika Mitra and recover jewellery belonging to her. Police also said his presence was required during the examination of his pet dog by a veterinary expert to verify whether the animal followed his commands or not.
Complainant Lipika Mitra had claimed Bharti’s dog attacked her at his behest and that she received injuries on various parts of her body. The pet follows the commands of its master and it has to be ascertained whether the said dog is capable of biting anyone on the instructions of his owner or not, special Public Prosecutor Shailendra Babbar said.
The prosecutor also exhibited the photographs, medical reports related to injuries of Lipika Mitra and the mail that she wrote to Bharti after the incident. His plea was opposed by Bharti’s defence counsel Vijay Aggarwal, who submitted that police had enough time to examine the dog.
Defence counsel also said the jewellery was in the possession of Lipika and Bharti did not know about its whereabouts. Bharti’s counsel also said that police has enough time to recover the articles which it did not do. Bharti even took the dog to the police station for its examination, he added.
Countering it, the prosecutor raised doubts over the conduct of Bharti and his sudden appearance in the wee hours of September 16 in a police station and said that the investigation could not be conducted on the directions of the accused. Police said Bharti was on the run for around 19-20 days and he could not expect swift action from police in a single day.
Bharti, who surrendered to police on Monday evening, was named in an FIR following a June 10 complaint by his wife, who said he had been abusing her since their marriage in 2010. She claimed Bharti used to beat and torture her and once even tried to kill her.
Bharti has been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to attempt to murder, cruelty towards wife, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, criminal breach of trust, attempt to cause miscarriage without woman’s consent, cheating and criminal intimidation.