Another court sends Bharti midnight raid case back to CMM

 A court here on Wednesday transferred the alleged midnight raid case against former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti to a higher court after being annoyed by defence counsel who wanted to record court proceedings and was seeking earlier date of hearing.

IANS| Last Updated: Nov 05, 2014, 22:29 PM IST

New Delhi: A court here on Wednesday transferred the alleged midnight raid case against former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti to a higher court after being annoyed by defence counsel who wanted to record court proceedings and was seeking earlier date of hearing.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ankita Lal transferred back the case to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Vivek Kumar Gulia to pass appropriate order on the matter.

Another magistrate Monday recused herself from hearing the matter and sent the case to the CMM.

The CMM Wednesday marked the case to Magistrate Lal to conduct further proceedings.

Magistrate Lal posted the matter for further hearing in December as she has to read the file.

On this, Bharti`s counsel Deepak Khosla showed his dissatisfaction and sought early hearing.

Khosla also started recording court proceedings, which the magistrate opposed. The court then transferred the matter to the CMM, who posted the matter for Nov 7 for further hearing.

Another court had Nov 3 recused itself from hearing the Jan 16 midnight raid case after Bharti`s counsel told court that he has no faith in it.

Metropolitan Magistrate Niti Phutela transferred the matter back to the CMM for passing order and recused herself from conducting further proceedings in the case.

The court direction came while passing its order on Bharti`s plea for registering a first information report against "erring policemen" for conducting a biased probe in the case.

The court said the plea made by Bharti was premature and could not be entertained without availing the appropriate remedies. However, it kept the application pending.

Advocate Khosla requested the court to apprise him of the decision on the plea for filing an FIR before the order was signed by the magistrate. He told court that he wanted to address further argument on this matter.

Bharti and 17 others were charge sheeted Sep 29 under 16 sections of the Indian Penal Code, including outraging the modesty of women.

In the charge sheet, a document of over 100 pages, police have cited around 41 prosecution witnesses, including nine African women, to buttress the charges.

Police lodged a first information report Jan 19 against "unidentified accused" on the court`s direction and booked them on various charges dealing with wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.

The court order came on a plea by a Ugandan woman who wanted an FIR to be registered against unidentified people for creating a ruckus during the raid between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. in Khirki Extension here Jan 16.

The minister allegedly visited a house in Khirki Extension after receiving complaints about an alleged prostitution and drug racket in the area.