Court to consider chargesheet against AAP's Somnath Bharti on Oct 27

A court here on Friday fixed October 27 for considering the charge sheet filed against former Delhi Law Minister and AAP leader Somnath Bharti and 17 others for allegedly molesting some African women during a purported midnight raid this year.

New Delhi: A court here on Friday fixed October 27 for considering the charge sheet filed against former Delhi Law Minister and AAP leader Somnath Bharti and 17 others for allegedly molesting some African women during a purported midnight raid this year.

"File received by way of transfer. It is checked and registered. Charge sheet has been filed in the case. Put up for consideration on October 27," Metropolitan Magistrate Niti Phutela said.

Delhi Police have filed a final report against Bharti and 18 other accused and they have been chargesheeted for various offences under the IPC, including sections 354 (outraging women's modesty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 147 (rioting).

In its charge sheet, the police said "nine African women were victims of molestation and manhandling by a mob led by the then Law Minister Somnath Bharti."

"As per the investigation conducted so far, statement of witnesses, documents on record, there are sufficient evidence under sections 354, 147/149, 341(wrongful restraint), 506, 509 (uttering or making gesture to insult modesty of women), 153 A (promoting enmity between classes), 323, 427 (mischief and thereby causing damages to the amount of Rs 50 or above) and other sections of IPC against Bharti and 17 others," it said.

The police named 41 as prosecution witnesses in the case who include nine Ugandan women who were allegedly beaten up and molested by the mob led by Bharti on the intervening night of January 15-16.

In its charge sheet, the police said that forensic reports of the urine sample of victim was awaited but reports of video footage collected from CCTV cameras installed at AIIMS, where the victims were taken for medical check-up, and news channels have been received.

It claimed that reports said there was no tampering with the CCTV or video footages.

The FIR was lodged on January 19 on the court's direction after an Ugandan woman had approached it seeking a direction to the police to file a criminal case against unnamed persons.

Later, another African woman had approached the court seeking registration of a separate FIR alleging that she was also molested by the group.

The court had on January 29 asked the police to file a status report while refusing to order lodging of a separate FIR on the plea.

However, it had asked the police that the woman be made a co-complainant in the first FIR lodged on January 19 as she was also "the victim" of the same incident.

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 January 15-16, court sources had said.

In the earlier application filed before the court, the foreign national had alleged that she and the other women were subjected to a cavity search during their medical examination at AIIMS and the then minister and his people had asked them in public to give urine samples.

TV footage aired on the news channels had shown Bharti asking police officers to conduct a raid as he had received complaints of drugs and prostitution racket in the area.  

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