AAP government's nod to prosecute Somnath Bharti in midnight raid case

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New Delhi, Sep 24: After Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's stern message to AAP MLA Somnath Bharti to surrender in a domestic violence case, there was more trouble for the legislator with Delhi Government today sanctioning his prosecution for alleged involvement in a midnight raid targeting a group of African women in South Delhi last year.

The Home Department of Delhi Government notified Lt Governor Najeeb Jung's sanction to prosecute the MLA for his alleged involvement in the raid in Khirki Extension area in January, 2014 when he was the Law Minister in the AAP Government.

arvind kejriwal

Kejriwal had yesterday said that the Malviya Nagar MLA, who is evading arrest in an attempt to murder and domestic violence case lodged by his estranged wife, is becoming an "embarrassment" to the party and asked him to surrender immediately.

Interestingly, the AAP government last month had opposed Lt Governor Najeeb Jung's nod to prosecute Bharti in the raid case.

Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain had then conveyed to Jung that sanction to prosecute Bharti should not be given.

Earlier this year, a city court had asked the police to get prosecution sanction against Bharti from the competent authority to proceed further in the case.

In its charge sheet filed in September last year, police had said that "nine African women were victims of molestation and manhandling by a mob led by Bharti" in Khirki Extension area.

On the intervening night of January 15-16, Bharti and his supporters had allegedly misbehaved with a number of African women during a raid against a suspected drug and prostitution ring.

Bharti, who was then Law Minister in the AAP government, had denied the charges. Seventeen others were charge sheeted on September 29 under 16 sections of the Indian Penal Code, including that of outraging the modesty of women.

In the 100-page document, police cited around 41 prosecution witnesses, including nine African women, to buttress the charges.

The AAP MLA is on the run in a case of domestic violence and attempt to murder filed by his wife Lipika. He was not traceable for the third consecutive day today after the High Court on Tuesday rejected his plea for anticipatory bail.

Yesterday, the AAP MLA moved the Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest in the domestic violence case.

PTI

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