New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted an interim relief to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti in a domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed by his wife.
The interim protection from arrest until Thursday, 17 September, was granted to Bharti by a bench of Justices BD Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva after his counsel, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, informed the court that the matter is urgent and there is every chance of his arrest.
Krishnan, assisted by advocate Vijay Aggarwal, had also told the court that immediately after rejection of his anticipatory bail, a non-bailable warrant was issued against the former Delhi Law Minister.
Bharti's counsel mentioned his plea before the high court earlier today after a trial court yesterday dismissed his petition seeking anticipatory bail and another court issued an NBW against him.
AAP, meanwhile, asked Bharti to surrender before police. Sources said the party was upset with Bharti as it is unable to contact him.
"We are trying to contact him, but are not able to. We advise him to surrender before police," said AAP leader Ashutosh.
Party sources, meanwhile, said that Bharti's "remaining incommunicado" was sending a wrong signal as AAP has been maintaining the stand that Delhi Police have been victimising its MLAs by arresting them.
Three AAP MLAs - former law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar, Manoj Kumar and Surinder Singh - have faced arrest by Delhi Police.
Earlier, Bharti's plea for anticipatory bail was rejected by Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Sanjay Garg observing that it was the second complaint lodged against the MLA by his wife Lipika Mitra, who has alleged that he did not mend his conduct despite assurance before Crime Against Women Cell of the police.
Later in the day, a Metropolitan Magistrate had issued the non-bailable warrant against him after Delhi Police had moved an application contending that Bharti was not cooperating in the probe and had failed to appear for interrogation despite three summons issued to him.
The ASJ, while rejecting anticipatory bail to Bharti, had accepted submissions of the Special Public Prosecutor that allegations against the lawmaker were serious and there was a possibility of his tampering with evidence.
The court had also rejected the MLA's contention that attempt to murder charge was not made out, while referring to an allegation in the FIR, lodged by Delhi Police, that Bharti tried to strangulate his wife and unleashed his dog on her knowing that she was seven months pregnant.
(With Agency inputs)